WASHINGTON — President 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.
That legislation would roll back key elements of former President Obama’s health care law, including its Medicaid expansion for low-income people. More significantly, the bill would limit overall federal financing for Medicaid in the future. Those changes could leave 24 million more people uninsured by 2026, the CBO said Monday.