Seema Verma confirmed as Trump's CMS director

Seema Verma, president and founder of SVC Inc., gets into an elevator as she arrives at Trump Tower, November 22, 2016 in New York City.

Drew Angerer, Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Monday confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to run Medicare and Medicaid, Indiana health care consultant Seema Verma.

Verma was confirmed 55-43 in the Senate Monday evening.

Verma will head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency that oversees health insurance programs covering more than 130 million Americans. Known as CMS, it’s also responsible for administering the Obama-era health care law that Trump has vowed to repeal and replace.

She’s a protégé of Vice President Mike Pence, after designing a Medicaid expansion along conservative lines for Indiana when he was governor. Her consulting business has about a dozen staffers, and if confirmed, she would run an agency with nearly 6,500 employees.

One of Verma’s new roles will involve acting as a liaison to the states as Republicans try to move their “repeal and replace” legislation through Congress.

A significant number of Republican governors expanded Medicaid coverage for low-income people under the Affordable Care Act. Now, they are considered pivotal players in the congressional debate to decide the fate of “Obamacare.” Some of the governors are concerned that a plan from House Republicans to limit future federal financing would take too much money out of Medicaid, too quickly.

Verma said during her confirmation hearing that Medicaid needs a full overhaul but that she doesn’t support turning Medicare into a “voucher” plan.