6 reactions to Seema Verma Senate confirmation

The Senate confirmed Seema Verma as CMS administrator on Monday. Here are six reactions to the confirmation.

1. Ted Chan, founder and CEO of healthcare review site CareDash, responded with concern about how the confirmation could affect certain Americans. "If Seema Verma's past austere Medicaid reform programs are indicative of her vision for guiding the insurance coverage for more than 100 million Americans, the healthcare of seniors, low and middle-income Americans, pregnant women and mothers, those with disabilities and others currently covered by Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act could be at risk with her confirmation," he said in an emailed statement.

2. Bruce Siegel, MD, president and CEO of America's Essential Hospitals, congratulated Ms. Verma on her confirmation. "Through her work at an essential hospital, Ms. Verma has firsthand experience with healthcare for low-income and other vulnerable people. She also has deep experience helping states tailor Medicaid to meet specific program and policy goals. This background gives Ms. Verma a particularly relevant perspective as Congress and the administration weigh fundamental changes to Medicaid funding," he said in an emailed statement.

3. Ted Shaw, president and CEO of the Texas Hospital Association, also congratulated Ms. Verma. "Ms. Verma brings an extensive background in state healthcare reform to her leadership position at CMS," he said in an emailed statement. "Texas hospitals look forward to working with her and her staff at CMS to continue Texas' healthcare reform work through its Medicaid 1115 waiver."

4. Donald Fisher, PhD, American Medical Group Association president and CEO, echoed other congratulatory responses. "She has extensive experience in working with policymakers to transform state Medicaid programs," he said in an emailed statement. "We are eager to work with her on continuing the transition from fee-for-service payments to a system that promotes value. AMGA members are focused on providing quality healthcare to their 130 million patients, and we look forward to working with policymakers like Ms. Verma to empower our members to continue to advance high performance health." 

5. Margaret Murray, CEO of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, responded positively to Ms. Verma's confirmation. "The Trump administration has laid out an ambitious plan to bring change to the way that Medicaid is financed and administered. Ms. Verma's experience in working to change the program in Indiana will serve her well in carrying out this priority," she said in an emailed statement.

Ms. Murray added: "We look forward to working with Ms. Verma on pathways to refine the program [Medicaid] while maintaining its guarantee of coverage for all eligible individuals, improving transparency and actuarial soundness in rate-setting, and assuring access to needed care and services."

6. Chip Kahn, president and CEO of Federation of American Hospitals, touted Ms. Verma's experience. "Seema Verma is a problem solver who has been successful at developing and sustaining coverage programs for low income Americans that have been both life savers for Medicaid recipients while cost effective for tax payers. We look forward to working with her as she brings these skills to her new role as CMS administrator," he said in an emailed statement.

Mr. Kahn added: "I am confident she will approach her new role with the quest to do the right thing, as she has done for her entire career — bringing people together to improve healthcare quality and access for our families and patients."

 

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