Legislative Activity

Verma Visits Senate Finance

With Secretary Price now in place at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), it is Seema Verma’s turn to experience the Senate confirmation process as the nominee for Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). On Thursday, February 16, Verma will appear before the Senate Committee on Finance for her confirmation hearing.  This will not be her first time appearing before Congress. In June 2013, Verma provided testimony for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health at a hearing titled “The Need for Medicaid Reform: A State Perspective.” She is using this testimony as her primary policy statement for Thursday’s hearing. Verma is a health care consultant who is touted for her work with state governments, specifically for her collaboration with former Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) and Vice President Mike Pence on the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and HIP 2.0. HIP sets-up health savings accounts (HSAs) called Personal Wellness and Responsibility (POWER) accounts and requires some members to contribute a small monthly payment. HIP is seen as a conservative model for Medicaid reform and has the potential to be the future of the Medicaid program under Verma. Given her professional background and the responsibilities of the CMS Administrator, questions regarding the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act (ACA); Medicaid reform; and the future of Medicare are all likely.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • On Monday, February 13, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a markup of H.J.Res.27, Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Death with Dignity Act of 2016.
  • On Tuesday, February 14, the House Committee on Rules will formulate the rule on H.J.Res.43, the providing congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients.
  • On Wednesday, February 15, the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled “Mental Health Care: Examining Treatments and Services.”
  • On Thursday, February 16, the Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing on the nomination of Seema Verma to be Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • On Thursday, February 16, the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will hold a hearing titled “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017.”