Indian-American Seema Verma to head Medicare and Medicaid, confirms Senate

Indian-American Seema Verma has been confirmed by the US Senate for a top healthcare position in the Trump administration.

By a vote of 55-43, the first generation Indian-American has been described by the White House as the "unquestionably qualified" candidate.

Seema Verma
Seema Verma Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

She is likely to play a key role in the health care reform of US President Donald Trump, who has made it a priority to repeal and replace the affordable healthcare policy of his predecessor Barack Obama. 

Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, said Verma is extremely qualified with a health policy background and a record of success. 

"She is committed to protecting Medicare and modernising Medicaid so the programmes deliver the best results for those who need it. She also understands the challenges that Obamacare has created for families," he said. 

The second Indian-American in the Trump Administration, Verma would head the US$1 trillion Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that provides health services to 130 million people. 

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was the first Indian-American Cabinet-rank official to serve in any presidential administration. 

"Verma's knowledge and leadership abilities will serve the American people well at CMS, an agency that touches the lives of millions every day. She will play an important role as we work to repeal and replace Obamacare, and put in place health care reforms that work for the American people," said Senator Richard Burr, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 

However, Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, the first Indian American Senator, voted against Verma. 

"I voted no on Seema Verma to head Medicare and Medicaid. I disagree with her ideas to cap and cut Medicaid and her views on maternity coverage," Harris said. 

A health policy consultant, Verma is known as the architect of health care reforms in several states, including Indiana.