Donald Trump’s transition team announced Nov. 29 that Seema Verma has been selected to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, NPR reports.
Verma, a healthcare consultant, will be in charge of the part of HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) that oversees Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
She will be working with Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon and a strong critic of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Trump said in a statement, “She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy and helping states navigate our complicated systems. Together, Chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans.”
“I am honored to be nominated by President-elect Trump today,” Verma said. “I look forward to helping him tackle our nation’s daunting healthcare problems in a responsible and sustainable way.”
Verma’s consulting firm, SVC Inc., worked closely with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, now the vice president-elect, to design the state’s Medicaid expansion under the ACA. The Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, which went into effect last year, asks covered people to make a small monthly payment to access health insurance, and a missed payment can result in a six-month lockout from coverage.
Indiana got a federal waiver to implement those provisions, which aren’t allowed under traditional Medicaid. Verma’s firm has worked on Medicaid proposals by other Republican governors, including Matt Bevin of Kentucky.
Verma previously worked for the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County in Indiana and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials in Washington, D.C.
She is Trump’s second Indian American appointee after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has been named U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Trump also appointed a Chinese American, Elaine Chao, as secretary of transportation. She served as secretary of labor under President George W. Bush.