UNITED STATES

Second Indian-American picked for important role in Trump administration

US-PRESIDENT-ELECT-DONALD-TRUMP-HOLDS-MEETINGS-AT-HIS-TRUMP-TOWE 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 | AFP

US President-elect Donald Trump selected a second Indian-American, Seema Verma, for a high-level position in his administration, assigning her "to the dream team that will transform our healthcare system".

As the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, she will play a crucial role in carrying out the high-priority Trump campaign promise of scrapping President Barack Obama's health care programme and replacing it with "something better."

Last week, Trump announced that South Carolina governor Nikki Haley would be the United States ambassador to the United Nations, a cabinet-level post.

Although Verma's job is not of cabinet rank now, it has great political importance and she will be in the national spotlight because of the Republican vow to end and replace Obama's signature healthcare reform, which attempted to make affordable health insurance available to all.

She will be working with congressman Tom Price, the House Budget Committee chairman, who is to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services, a cabinet-level position.

Announcing his intent to nominate them, Trump said: "Together, chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans."

About Verma, Trump said: "She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy and helping states navigate our complicated systems."

Verma, who heads a healthcare consulting company, SVC Inc., has worked closely with vice president-elect Mike Pence, the Governor of Indiana, in designing the state's health care system. She has also consulted with other Republican-run states on healthcare issues.

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