Senate confirms Trump pick to head Medicare and Medicaid

Senate confirms Trump pick to head Medicare and Medicaid

March 13th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Political

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, Seema Verma, left, nominee for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, gets on an elevator in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Verma was confirmed by the Senate on March 13. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci File)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A divided Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to run the Medicare and Medicaid agency, the $1 trillion organization overseeing health insurance programs for more than 130 million Americans.

Indiana health care consultant Seema Verma is a protégé of Vice President Mike Pence. She was approved Monday by a 55-43 vote.

Verma will head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which is slated for sweeping changes under the House Republican health care bill backed by Trump.

That legislation would roll back key elements of former President Barack Obama's health care law and limit future federal financing for Medicaid, which serves more than 70 million low-income people.

Verma has a background in public health, and says she wants government programs to improve health, not just pay bills.