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Senate Confirms Seema Verma to lead Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

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Seema Verma was confirmed by the Senate to lead CMS Monday.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The Senate confirmed Seema Verma to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency that will have a pivotal role in implementing any health reform that repeals and replaces Obamacare.

The Senate voted 55-43 to confirm Verma Monday, she’s previously served as a healthcare consultant and is most famously remembered as the architect of Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program when former Gov. Mitch Daniels and then Vice President Mike Pence ran the state.

The agency runs Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs and is responsible for running healthcare.gov, a website used by residents in 38 states and the District of Columbia to shop for Obamacare plans. Verma has won over high praise from Republicans, her work on Medicaid expansion in Indiana “empowered people to take greater responsibility for their own health by providing incentives to use healthcare resources efficiently,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch.

During her Senate confirmation hearing she said, “I am deeply confirmed of the state of our healthcare”. She added, “I want to be part of the solution, making sure the healthcare system works for all Americans”

However, Democrats were left in a state of wanting more answers from Verma during her confirmation hearing on her commitment to lowering drug prices and her thoughts on Medicaid eligibility.

Verma said during her confirmation hearing that Medicaid needs a full overhaul but that she doesn’t support turning Medicare into a “voucher” plan. She stated that “We don’t want to see that our policies and our programs are actually preventing providers….  be very careful with policies so we are not pushing providers out of the system, but we are actually attracting providers to the program.”

You can watch the complete senate confirmation hearing on C-SPAN

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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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