Administrator Verma’s Secret Subcontracts Exposed After CMS Cut At Least $26 Million in Funding on ACA Outreach Program
Statement from Lizzy Price, spokesperson for Restore Public Trust:
“Under Administrator Verma’s leadership, her agency undermined a program that helped Americans access healthcare, but she had no qualms spending millions of taxpayer dollars on her personal team of PR consultants. Verma’s abuse of power and disregard of taxpayer resources make it clear – the ‘swamp culture’ that President Trump promised to clean up is swampier than ever.”
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) spent millions of taxpayer dollars on contracts with Republican communications consultants who helped amplify coverage of Administrator Seema Verma’s work.
- The subcontracts were part of a $2.25 million contract administered by international public relations firm Porter Novelli, and CMS also spent “at least $1 million on earlier contracts with GOP communications consultants.”
- Some consultants were paid between $185 and $200 per hour, “a far higher pay rate than the majority of high-level government officials.”
- CMS staff objected to use of taxpayer resources on communications consultants to bolster Verma’s image.
Last year, under Verma’s leadership, CMS cut at least $26 million in funding for the “navigator” program, an Affordable Care Act outreach program that helps people sign up for health insurance.