Just when we thought having to deal with the challenge former Congressman Tom Price, now President Trump's HHS Secretary, was making it dangerous enough to grow older, the president adds on more potential woe for the poor.
Meet Seema Verma. The president's second Indian-American pick for and head of SVC, Inc.a private consulting firm specializing in Medicare/Medicaid has been picked to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Does this woman ever make me nostalgic for the days when a Republican president could work with Congress and pull off the Medicare Plan D to help seniors and disabled folks on Social Security afford to pay for their medicines, some of which still carry stiff copayments. Not perfect, but sure as hell better than what the more extremist wings of the GOP would leave the elderly and disabled dependent on their Medicare/Medicaid and other disability benefits under Social Security.
Now comes along this Ms. Verma who has one of the skimpiest resumes posted on the web insofar as giving the public an idea of who she is as a person, a woman, and somebody who's had perhaps to deal with the personal aspect of navigating the costs and challenges of getting older and finding oneself or their parents dependant on Medicare/Medicaid.
She's a perfect technocrat if you read her starchly written bio and other write ups. That's nice to know at least somebody chosen by Trump's inner circle will know how to count and write coherent sentences.
This woman won't be just dealing with facts and paragraphs. She'll be running one of the most sensitive agencies in the government, one in charge of making sure our parents and disabled will get a fair shake at being able to afford to live longer lives and do so with dignity. Let's hear it for the Ma & Pa Kettles of our country; especially since many of them, the disabled included, have already paid into the system they're already dependent upon, and not have to pay any additional costs on top of what many of us are already facing with a rise in Plan D medicine premiums and copays.
I'm on Social Security Disability. I qualified for in terms of both my medical evaluations, and of course, the minimal "quarters" already paid into the system. In other words, I've paid for my qualifying "skin" in order to receive the benefits to which the gov't deemed I was qualified to receive for the past decade.
If the GOP wants to call my SSDI and Medicare benefits an "entitlement" with the usual accompanying sneer, they can go ahead and sneer. I'm entitled, like so many millions of others in my boat to receive my payments and medicare care because I've paid my dues ahead of time, and my medical condition of a lifetime of permanent high level ADHD and Bipolar Depression, among other related comorbidities tells the "rest of the story."
I just wonder how long my wife, a mother of our four adult children, a former "lunch lady" and relatively recently minted Medical Assistant and I would be able to afford to keep our home that we've owned for the past fifteen years, especially since I qualified for SSDI/Medicare for the past 13.5 yrs., without it. Or would she and her fellow "rugged individualist" minded technocrats prefer that we closed our doors on the American Dream. One more statistic? Or would she and her kind just see our situation as a "Sorry but," and chalk our situation to yet another family having to surrender their home to the open market. It's one thing to hope for more home ownership opportunities, but in case Ms. Verma has a hard time understanding our situation and millions of others having to deal with not being blessed to be wealthy, we can only root so far as to not want to see ourselves plunked on the street. That's not selfish, just a sign of healthy normal self-interest.
It's best that I just leave off with some rather telling paragraphs copied from the "Fortune" story already linked above. It's not that I'm unwilling to be one of the many elderly and disabled voting homeowners who would love to work with her and help her see the situation we face. But how can we get her to see this unless we, meaning everybody who reads this article and the many other fine articles and blog postings in Thom's website. Take a look at this and see for yourself folks how much of a challenge we have in protecting what we've already earned and don't want to lose just so the super wealthy can receive another tax break that many of them really haven't deserved in years.
" . . . . Her firm, SVC Inc., has been paid more than $6.6 million by the state of Indiana since 2011 for her consulting work, according to records.
In a 2008 blog post on the website HealthAffairs, co-authored with a Daniels' administration official, Verma outlined a philosophy that 'melds two themes of American society that typically collide in our health care system, rugged individualism, and the Judeo Christian ethic.'
Indiana's Medicaid program 'combines these diametrically opposed themes by promoting personal responsibility while providing subsidized health protection to those who can least afford it,' she wrote.... "