CMS Pick Seema Verma Appears Headed for Confirmation

Final Senate vote may come next week

The Senate has voted along party lines to end its debate over President Trump’s nomination of Seema Verma as the next Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, paving the way for a final confirmation vote that will likely take place next week, according to a report from Fierce Healthcare.

The vote was 54 to 44, with all 43 Democrats voting against ending the discussion. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont also voted “no.” Two Republicans abstained.

Despite the Democrats’ strenuous opposition, it’s likely that Verma will be confirmed next week, the report says.

Verma is the founder, president, and CEO of SVC Inc., a national health-policy consulting firm. She has close ties to Vice President Mike Pence, with whom she worked on Indiana’s Medicaid expansion plan when he was governor of that state.

During confirmation hearings last month, Verma provided few specifics about her stance on Medicaid block grants, vouchers, Medicaid privatization, and strategies to reduce drug prices.

If confirmed, Verma will play a central role in the Trump administration’s efforts to reform Medicare and Medicaid.

Sources: FierceHealthcare; March 9, 2017; and United States Senate; March 9, 2017.