Below are the calendars for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Seema Verma, spanning March 2017 through May 2018.
The calendars include a number of calls and meetings with GOP consultant Brett O’Donnell, one of the contractors hired by Verma to boost her image in the media, which was first reported by Politico in March 2019. According to these records, calls or meetings with O’Donnell took place on June 22, July 5, July 12, July 14, Aug. 21, Oct. 10, and Oct. 12, 2017 (the Aug. 21 meeting is referred to as “weekly”).
There are also calendar items for Sept. 6, Sept. 21, 2017, and Feb. 2, 2018, meetings with Keith and Ken Nahigian, the brothers who helm Nahigian Strategies. That firm had worked with several Republican presidential campaigns, and was also hired by Verma, being paid as much as $2 million by CMS, according to the Politico story.
Additionally, Verma’s early calendars include calls and meetings related to the Trump administration’s push for Medicaid work requirements, which states can impose through Section 1115 waivers. Meetings regarding Arkansas, the first state to implement the waiver, and Iowa took place on March 17, April 14, Aug. 1, Oct. 3, and Dec. 13, 2017. Verma is recused, based on her previous consulting work, from working on certain issues with those and other states, but these calendar entries do not contain enough information to point to any specific ethics violations.
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