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Seema Verma Confirmed as CMS Head

Seema Verma has been confirmed as the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in a 55-to-43 vote that was largely along party lines, the Wall Street Journal reports. CMS is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Verma, a health policy consultant, oversaw the rollout of Indiana's Medicaid expansion program under then-Governor Mike Pence, the Journal notes. As part of that, she orchestrated a deal with the Obama administration under which Indiana could charge people who enrolled in the expansion program monthly premiums. Conservatives have hailed the program as increasing personal responsibility, while critics say the complex enrollment process and costs dissuaded people from enrolling, it adds.

As CMS administrator, Verma will oversee Medicaid and Medicare as well as parts of the embattled Affordable Care Act and, possibly, its replacement, the New York Times adds.