The Senate approved President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Seema Verma, in a 55-43 vote Monday.
Verma, a health-care policy consultant, is expected to play a central role in Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Republicans were particularly complimentary of Verma’s role in helping design the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), Indiana’s “consumer-directed” Medicaid program that created recipients with a POWER account, which is similar to the structure of Health Savings Accounts during committee.
Reforming Medicaid has been a heated topic as a number of GOP lawmakers remain at odds on how to address Medicaid-expansion states as they work to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s landmark health care legislation.
GOP lawmakers praised the confirmation, saying its a step in the right direction in terms of getting started on accomplishing their agenda.
“With Senate confirmation of Seema Verma as CMS Administrator, both CMS and HHS can truly work in harmony. There’s no shortage of work ahead, and the administration has built a well-equipped team to clean up the mess that Obamacare has made,” House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess said in a joint statement. “Rebuilding our health care system with patient-centered reforms is a top priority for this Congress and we look forward to working together to deliver results for patients and families all across the country.”
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