Seema Verma Directed Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars To GOP-Affiliated Consultants In Part To Polish Her Brand: Report
According to Politico, CMS staffers' objections about the deals -- which use federal funds for Republican-connected communication consultants to help CMS Administrator Seema Verma -- were ignored in some cases. The agency’s use of outside contracts and subcontracts is legal, but experts and current officials say it is not transparent and raises ethical questions.
Exclusive: Key Trump Health Official Spends Millions On GOP-Connected Consultants
The Trump appointee who oversees Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare quietly directed millions of taxpayer dollars in contracts to Republican communications consultants during her tenure atop the agency — including hiring one well-connected GOP media adviser to bolster her public profile. The communications subcontracts approved by CMS Administrator Seema Verma — routed through a larger federal contract and described to POLITICO by three individuals with firsthand knowledge of the agreements — represent a sharp break from precedent at the agency. Those deals, managed by Verma’s deputies, came in some cases over the objections of CMS staffers, who raised concerns about her push to use federal funds on GOP consultants and to amplify coverage of Verma’s own work. CMS has its own large communications shop, including about two dozen people who handle the press. (Cancryn and Diamond, 3/29)