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President Trump's Pick To Head Medicare, Medicaid Confirmed By Senate

TodayNewsReview / General / Politics / President Trump's Pick To Head Medicare, Medicaid Confirmed By Senate 564 Views

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President Donald Trump's pick to run Medicare and Medicaid won confirmation Monday from a divided Senate as lawmakers braced for another epic battle over the government's role in health care and society's responsibility toward the vulnerable.

Indiana health care consultant Seema Verma, a protégé of Vice President Mike Pence, was approved by a 55-43 vote, largely along party lines. She'll head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a $1 trillion agency that oversees health insurance programs for more than 130 million people, from elderly nursing home residents to newborns. It's part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Verma, a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from India, takes over at CMS as a House Republican health care bill backed by Trump would make sweeping changes to the agency.

With a background in public health, Verma has said she wants government programs to improve health, not just pay bills. She's been critical of Medicaid, saying "the status quo is not acceptable" for the federal-state insurance program that covers more than 70 million low-income people.

She also said she does not support turning Medicare into a voucher plan under which retirees would get a fixed federal contribution to purchase private coverage from government-regulated private insurance plans. Her boss, HHS Secretary Tom Price, is a prominent advocate of such an approach. Medicare covers more than 56 million seniors and disabled people.

With Verma's confirmation and Price as health secretary, Trump has two of the most senior HHS officials in place. Last Friday, the president nominated Dr. Scott Gottlieb to run the Food and Drug Administration. Nonetheless, many senior political appointee positions at HHS remain unfilled.

www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/13/trump-pick-to-head-medicare-medicaid-confirmed-by-senate.html

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