Seema Verma

The Trump administration forked out over $2 million to contractors who discussed a publicity plan to get Centers for Medicare and Medicaid chief Seema Verma onto “Power Women” lists and magazines like Glamour, according to a new report in Politico.
The outline of the publicity plan noted that top-dollar media consultant Pam Stevens had already set up profiles of Verma and pitched her to other media outlets, Politico reported.
Federal officials are barred from using taxpayer money to generate publicity, or using their public role for private gain.
Verma has overseen the implementation of President Trump’s controversial healthcare policies, including rolling back parts of the Affordable Care Act and enacting work requirements on Medicaid.
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The Trump administration forked out more than $2 million to contractors who discussed a publicity plan to get Centers for Medicare and Medicaid chief Seema Verma onto “Power Women” lists and magazines like Glamour, according to emails obtained by Politico.

Another option they explored was an invite to distinguished events like the Kennedy Center Honors gala.

Verma has come under fire in recent weeks for her agency’s use of federal dollars to employ pricey communications contractors. Some charged up to $380 an hour for work that’s typically handled by career civil servants within CMS’s communications department, the outlet reported, part of a $2.25 million “strategic communications” contract.

The emails suggest the contractors were employed in a bid to boost Verma’s own visibility as a government official, and not the policy work of her agency. Verma has since repeatedly said consultants were contracted “to promote the programs” already underway.

The outline of the publicity plan noted that top-dollar media consultant Pam Stevens had already set up profiles of Verma and pitched her to other media outlets, Politico reported.

Federal officials are barred from using taxpayer money …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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