Washington– In response to news that the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s office is investigating the costly PR contracts that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma used to boost her own image, Restore Public Trust Spokesperson Lizzy Price issued the following statement:
“We expect government officials to use taxpayer resources transparently to serve the public, not to build their own personal brands. This investigation is a necessary first step to hold Administrator Verma accountable for abusing her position and carelessly misusing taxpayer dollars.”
Politico first broke the news of the contracts last week, reporting that Verma wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on the contracts. News of the scandal broke as the agency undermined public health programs: last year, 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.