Conflicts of interest and misuse of taxpayer dollars among issues Congress should question in today’s hearing
WASHINGTON – Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations have the rare opportunity today to question the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Administrator Seema Verma, for her role in undermining health care laws. Verma has used her power to systematically reduce health care coverage and destroy health care programs from the inside. Restore Public Trust calls for the committee to thoroughly question her for her role in cutting Americans’ rights to health care.
“Administrator Verma has systematically used her position to sabotage the health care laws of the land,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “Congress must take a hard look at Verma’s actions and take steps to ensure that the head of CMS carries out the duties of her position honorably. As we have seen time and time again, the Trump administration is stacked with officials like Verma who prioritize their own interests and the interests of corporations over the American people. It’s time for Congress to hold Verma and other members of Trump’s cabinet like her accountable for the harm they’re causing to the real people they serve.”
Before joining the Trump administration, Administrator Verma was the head of a consulting firm with close ties to then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s administration. At SVC Inc., she specialized in shrinking Indiana’s Medicaid program through high deductibles and lock-out periods. Now, as the head of CMS, Verma is using her experience to reduce health care coverage across the country. Under her leadership at CMS, she:
- Ripped Medicaid coverage away from thousands of people. In Arkansas alone, tens of thousands of people were kicked off Medicaid due to Verma’s new work requirements, spiking the rate of uninsured people
- Issued regulations to push people toward Medicare Advantage, favoring corporate insurers
- Attempted to dismantle the Medicaid program by weaponizing work requirements, worsening the quality of care for hundreds of thousands of people dependent on the program
- Spent millions of taxpayer dollars to hire GOP-connected public relations consultants to boost her own public image, prompting an investigation by the HHS Inspector General’s office
- Oversaw CMS’s cut of at least $26 million in funding for an outreach program that helps people sign up for health insurance
President Trump has stacked his health department with lobbyists and friends of Big Pharma. Instead of advocating on behalf of American patients, they are advancing Big Pharma’s bottom line and deepening the drug industry’s pockets. Restore Public Trust is focused on exposing the real intentions of these individuals and holding them accountable to the American people they are supposed to serve.