CMS issues split decision on Arkansas Medicaid waiver


Ms. Verma recused herself on CMS’ decisions involving Indiana and Kentucky because she used to consult with those state Medicaid agencies before joining the Trump administration in 2017. As a health care consultant, she also worked with Arkansas. But Ms. Verma decided to personally approve the Arkansas waiver on Monday and flew to Little Rock, Ark., to make the announcement with Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R).

CMS officials did not respond to questions about why she did not recuse herself again.

But a top Senate Democrat lambasted Ms. Verma’s decision.

“She pledged during her confirmation to recuse herself from working on many states’ Medicaid waivers to avoid conflicts of interest, including Arkansas, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement. “The Trump administration has simply made a mockery of the HHS ethics process.”

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