The United States has confirmed that Seema Verma, of Indian origin, has been selected for a top health care position in the Trump administration.
Verma is a first generation Indian-American, who is being touted as the “unquestionably qualified” candidate for the position. She selection by the Senate was confirmed by a vote of 55-43.
It is being said that Verma is likely to play an important role in doing away with Obamacare, one healthcare reform which is top priority for the newly elected US President, Donald Trump.
Verma is the second Indian-American, who has been confirmed by the Senate to be a part of the Trump administration. She will head the $1trillion worth, Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, which are said to provide health care 130 million people, across the United States.
Nikki Healy, US’s Ambassador to the United Nations, was the first Indian-American Cabinet rank official to serve in any presidential administration.
The Senate voted for Verma mostly on party lines.
Verma, has previously, worked within health sector, having worked as a health policy consultant. She is known to have spearheaded health care reforms in several states, across the US.
Speaking of Verma’s qualifications and experience, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Verma has an extremely successful record and background in health policy.
He went on to add that, “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.”
Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Richard Burr, also spoke about Verma’s abilities, saying that, “Ms 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,”
However, there were some, like Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, the first Indian American Senator, who voted against Verma.
Justifying her position, Harris said, “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.”
On the other hand, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Orrin Hatch, during his speech on the Senate floor, said that, Verma is highly qualified to lead CMS, as well as modernise its programmes, in order to increase the effectiveness of healthcare delivery.
He went on to add that, “She brings the experience and, importantly, bipartisan solutions that can and should unite people across the political spectrum in addressing some of the greatest challenges in our healthcare system. I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting Ms. Verma’s nomination to this important position.”