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Trump’s Center for Medicaid and Medicare services (CMS) administrator, Seema Verma, has been waging war on healthcare for the poor, while spending millions in taxpayer dollars on consultants for herself.
You should be spending CMS’s resources to ensure Americans have quality health care – not bolstering your own image,” the four Committee leaders wrote in their letter to Administrator Verma. “Under your leadership, CMS has eliminated tens of millions of dollars in funding that was intended to raise awareness about health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act and funding for Navigators that assist individuals in gaining coverage.  Instead of spending resources to improve health care for everyone in the country, you appear to have steered money to political allies to boost your reputation.”

Seema Verma-Trump-Pence-Price

‘Make No Mistake. People Will Die’: Backlash Against ‘Relentless War on Medicaid’ Waged by Trump “Hell no,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.). “If the Administration tries to decimate Medicaid through executive action after its scheme was rejected by Congress and the American people, I will fight it with everything I have.” by Andrea Germanos, staff writer https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/14/make-no-mistake-people-will-die-backlash-against-relentless-war-medicaid-waged-trump

So, Trump and Pence’s Verma is still around causing trouble: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/middle-class-consumers-and-taxpayers-will-likely-pay-for-trump-verma-suspending-billions-in-transfers-between-insurers/
Bicameral Health Leaders Urge HHS OIG to Investigate Verma’s Use of Millions in Taxpayer Funds on GOP Consultants Mar 29, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Four House and Senate Democratic Committee leaders today requested that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson review whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma adhered to federal regulations and ethics requirements regarding the awarding of millions of dollars in questionable CMS contracts to Republican communications consultants for her own benefit.

The request was made to the Inspector General in a letter from House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Senate Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senate HELP Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA).

“These contracts are a highly questionable use of taxpayer dollars, and call into question the Administrator’s commitment to transparency, ethics, and responsible stewardship of CMS resources,” the four Democratic Committee leaders wrote to Levinson. “We ask that you conduct a review to determine whether Administrator Verma’s actions regarding these contracts complied with federal regulations and ethics requirements.”

According to a recent press report, the subcontracts in question may be part of a $2.25 million contract with Porter Novelli, an international public relations firm.  Under Verma’s leadership, CMS reportedly has also spent at least $1 million on contracts with Republican-affiliated communications consultants. The consultants reportedly handled Administrator Verma’s media calls and wrote her speeches, both of which are functions that CMS’s Office of Communications has historically performedOne of the Republican subcontractors reportedly arranged interviews with Administrator Verma that “focused on emphasizing her personal life and her role as a prominent Republican woman.”

The four Committee leaders also sent a letter to Administrator Verma demanding answers in an effort to ensure CMS’s funds are spent advancing agency initiatives not for the personal benefit of agency political leaders and their well-connected associates.

“You should be spending CMS’s resources to ensure Americans have quality health care – not bolstering your own image,” the four Committee leaders wrote in their letter to Administrator Verma. “Under your leadership, CMS has eliminated tens of millions of dollars in funding that was intended to raise awareness about health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act and funding for Navigators that assist individuals in gaining coverage.  Instead of spending resources to improve health care for everyone in the country, you appear to have steered money to political allies to boost your reputation.”

Specifically, the four Committee leaders asked Verma to provide the following information no later than April 12:
* A list of all contracts and subcontracts with Porter Novelli, Nahigian Strategies, Pam Stevens, and Marcus Barlow since January 20, 2017.  For each contract or subcontract, please provide a description of the work performed, whether the contract was competitively bid, an explanation as to how and why these companies or consultants were selected, what your role was in the awarding of the contract or subcontract, the amount awarded and obligated, and copies of each contract or subcontract.
* All communications from any individuals in the Office of the Administrator regarding contracts or subcontracts with Porter Novelli, Nahigian Strategies, Pam Stevens, and/or Marcus Barlow since January 20, 2017.
* All communications from any individuals in the Office of Communications regarding the selection of Pam Stevens and Marcus Barlow as subcontractors.

The four leaders are asking the Inspector General to investigate the following:
* To what extent were all applicable Federal Acquisition Regulation provisions, CMS policies and procedures, and federal ethics requirements appropriately followed for the awarding of these contracts and subcontracts to Porter Novelli, Nahigian Strategies, Stevens, and Barlow?
* What were the justification for these contracts and subcontracts, including how and why these consultants were selected, and what was Verma’s role in selecting these consultants for the contracts and their awarding?
* What were the total costs of these contracts and subcontracts, including the amount awarded and obligated?
* To what extent could the work under these contracts be performed by CMS’s own Office of Communications or policy staff?
* Did any CMS personnel raise concerns about the awarding of these contracts?  If so, what were these concerns, and how were they addressed?
* To what extent has CMS ensured that the awarding of contracts adheres to high ethical standards and is free of undue influence from political appointees?
*
Letter to HHS Inspector General available HERE.
https://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/files/documents/HHS%20OIG%202019.3.29.pdf
Letter to CMS Administrator Verma available HERE.

https://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/files/documents/CMS.2019.3.29.pdf
https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/bicameral-health-leaders-urge-hhs-oig-to-investigate-verma-s-use-of-millions-in

Exclusive: Key Trump health official spends millions on GOP-connected consultants Seema Verma employs a team of private consultants who write her speeches, polish her brand and travel with her across the country. By ADAM CANCRYN and DAN DIAMOND | 03/29/2019 05:03 AM EDT | Updated 03/29/2019 10:34 AM EDT https://archive.li/https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/29/seema-verma-contracts-1306652

Look up Verma’s company “SVC” and see how it is registered as a Minority Business (MBE), even though India accounts for approximately 1/5th of the population of the entire world, plus it has the largest number of diaspora migrants living abroad. These programs were supposed to be to help the descendants of formerly enslaved African Americans, but are being used (legally) by new immigrant populations. She is also registered as a Woman owned business (WBE).
https://fs.gmis.in.gov/psc/guest/EMPLOYEE/ERP/c/SOI_MMS_MENU1.SOI_MBE_REP_INQ.GBL

This makes her eligible for Minority-Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and other programs, and, in some instance, minority contract set asides. Yes, you got it, the minority business help that everyone thought was supposed to be for African American descendants of slaves is gotten by new immigrants who were never enslaved, nor persecuted in this country. See: https://www.mbda.gov/page/how-certifications-can-help-grow-your-businessSome minority groups are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged and can qualify for the 8(a) program. These groups include: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans.https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/minority-owned-businesseshttps://www.mbda.gov/news/blog/2012/03/what-8a-business-development-programhttps://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Helpful%20Tips%20to%20apply%20to%20the%208(a)%20Business%20Development%20Program%20PowerPoint%20Presentation%20-%2003%2006%2014.pdf

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, minorities own more than 4.1 million firms, and account for nearly $700 billion in revenues.
MBE’s can be self-identified but are typically certified by a city, state or federal agency. DiversityBusiness.com is the primary organization for connecting businesses with Fortune 1000, Government Agencies and Educational organizations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minority_business_enterprise

Some minority groups are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged and can qualify for the 8(a) program. These groups include: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Individuals who are not members of one or more of these groups can be considered for the 8(a) program, but they must provide substantial evidence and documentation that demonstrates that they have been subjected to bias or discrimination and are economically disadvantaged. Firms owned by Alaska Native Corporations, Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations and Community Development Corporations can also apply to the program.
https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/minority-owned-businesses

Dr. King actually talked about this problem of new immigrants being favored over the descendants of slaves, historically, starting at ca 22 min http://youtu.be/RMLyhshxQc8

Updated note: Obama and the UK have had their Vermas too, who are death dealing nuclear pushers. Richard Verma pushed thru the CSC deal that makes the US partially US for nuclear accidents in India, even caused by defective Russian or French equipment, whereas neither Russia nor France will not be responsible, since they are not members: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/westinghouse-is-japanese-toshiba-not-american-for-16-years/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/scottish-radioactive-waste-ship-fire-the-high-fashion-service-sector-baroness-verma/