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.... "

(emphasis, mine.)


Steven PBarrett's picture
Steven PBarrett 39 weeks 1 day ago

I've been checking over the past night to learn more about Ms. Verma, especially more about her more deep-seated values than mere loyalty to the Republican Party. Indeed, people have a right to their personal beliefs and their families, (ideally) should be left alone, provided they have not demonstrated a track record of relying upon them in such a manner as to leave the public, who'll be paying her salary, wondering if her private views will not interfere in her ability to administer the services provided by CMS in the only way possible: fair and according to the law and purposes which CMS was established through the Social Security system.

This mix of Judeo Christianity and "rugged individualism" has me concerned? Anybody else? I hope so!

DdC's picture
DdC 39 weeks 22 hours ago

That's a good reason for Trump's Wall.
Just build it in between Church and State.

Andrew Beckett's picture
Andrew Beckett 39 weeks 13 hours ago

I think it is only in North America that the Christian Church, that is the Protestant church, has devolved into the bizarre spectacle you see in televangelists and now at Trump rallies. The hypocrisy is mind-bending. These people clearly know nothing about Jesus or what he taught. If they did, they would be screaming "crucify him" at the top of their lungs. Who knows? The second coming may already have occurred and Jesus was lynched by the Klan for sharing a loaf of bread with a black man.

Steven PBarrett's picture
Steven PBarrett 38 weeks 6 days ago

As a Christian, though certainly as an Episcopalian, not what one would call a "Bible Christian," I'm still reminded and in essence required by the Man who spoke these famous dying last words to "forgive those who don't know what they're doing," it also helps to remember that not all of Trump's supporters and voters were "deplorables." (And don't you folks ever doubt Hillary wishes she could have those horses that escaped her "barn.") A lot of them were unsure, unstead (fiscally speaking, and certainly hot helped physically or emotionally) by all the deliberate manipulation of falsehoods surrounding Obamacare in their efforts to undermine the Democrats' case for staying in office. Yes, a lot of Trumps' biggest voting blocs were manipulated by crafty wordsmiths who knew scripture (like the devil) back wards n' forwards to tweek, tweet and twist the meaning of a few choice expressions, hard luck stories and come up with a whole lotta "alternate facts" to sway voters. If they Russians thought they were buying influence, they were ripped off (thank you Lord) because Trump didn't need them.

And if we're not careful, progressives will spend the next three years+plus refighting the last battle with rear-view mirrors and not seeing what a President Donald Trump (now empowered with incubency) has been able to put up for defenses in his reelection campaign. (Yes, he's filed papers.) Guys, right now we're like the Union Army under Gen'l Burnside ready to marchup Mayre's Heights in Fredericksburg only to get slaughtered row by row if we don't wake up and concentrate our best efforts now in giving the voters reasons to vote for Democrats and not just against Republicans. People will get up out of their easy chairs and trenches if they're motivated enough to vote for somebody or a cause. But nobody can move a parked car with the parking brake pulled up at a near 90 degree angle. Nobody, save for God.

It's not enough to oppose more privatization scams by Mrs. DeVos or Ms. Verma and her boss, HHS Sec. Price. Sure they're scams and all the Amway soap in the world can't wash out the Devos despoilment and trashing of Michigan's public school systems. Voucher scams are just that, scams versus real progams. But just calling them a scam is only giving half the effort. We have to convince in real dollars and cents as to why these Republica voucher substitutes for real policies made to match real physical, fiscal and intellectual challenges are not going to do the job and why they'll hurt not only the people we're trying to convince for the present, but also the children they love and don't want to see put at risk in years to come.

Dammit, it's time to get emotional. To hell with the intellectual Dukakis, Mondale, and Carter approaches. Go Truman, Clinton, and even Obama and throw in some good old fashioned FDR, Truman, Humphrey, Ted Kennedy and for some real muscle, LBJ style reasoning power to get people to come around on.

I know damn well how the GOP plays its game. I used to be in the GOP and Amway and folks, you don't have to be reasonable with them or give purely intellectual counter arguments. Just point to the gap between what the vouchers will pay for and what they'll be getting in return for their tax dollars if Price and Verma are able to cheapen health insurance down for ourselves, our kids and our senior citizens. After all, who stands to suffer fiscally when after these cheap voucher deals and calls for a so-called return to "Judeo Christian values" with some of that olde tymey "rugged individualism" have bled dry what the elders saved up for, and it wasn't to fork over to already fattened bank accounts of those who stand to become even more "blessed" due to their misapplication of misteachings of that bad old Calvinism.

If they want a holy war, give it back to 'em, verse, paragraph and whole Bible Version if you have to, which I believe you will.

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Trump Is Using Racist White People To Make The Rich Richer

There is this whole mythology that Donald Trump came to power because 53% of white women voted for him, because 66% of white working men who didn't have a college degree voted for him.

That may be, but those are not his constituents. Those are his suckers. Those are his rubes.