The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 11:01 am

Trump picks Healthy Indiana Plan architect

Niki Kelly | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday tapped the architect of Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Plan and HIP 2.0 as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Seema Verma has made millions in state contracts with Indiana over the years through her national health care consulting company, SVC Inc.

She developed HIP under then-Gov. Mitch Daniels – the nation’s first consumer-driven Medicaid program. Then she worked under Gov. Mike Pence – the Vice President elect – for a waiver to expand the program and receive billions to pay for it from the Affordable Care Act.

HIP 2.0 requires participants to pay a nominal monthly fee and those above a certain level of poverty can be kicked off the program for not doing so. The most impoverished though can stay on but receive a slightly-lower level of benefits.

Verma’s website said she helped write enabling legislation, negotiated the financing plan with the state’s hospital association, developed the federal waiver, supported federal negotiations and led the implementation of the program, including the operational design.

She has also consulted on Medicaid reform for several other states.

“I am pleased to nominate Seema Verma to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” Trump said in a press release. “She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy and helping states navigate our complicated systems. Together, Chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans.”

He also nominated Rep. Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary.

“I am honored to be nominated by President-elect Trump today,” said Ms. Verma. “I look forward to helping him tackle our nation's daunting healthcare problems in a responsible and sustainable way."

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