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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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Impact commits $10M to supporting Indian American candidates

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Impact

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian American IMPACT, a political organization working to put Indian Americans in public office, announced a new $10 million commitment to support Indian American candidates nationwide. They also announced public interest lawyer Neil Makhija will be IMPACT’s new Executive Director. The number of Indian Americans in Congress has grown five-fold in just the past eight years.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr faced questioning by the House Judiciary Committee about the use of force against Black Lives Matter protesters in recent weeks and the Trump administration’s handling of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll show the clash between Congressmember Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Barr that’s making headlines.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged YouPlus, a Silicon Valley startup, and its CEO Shaukat Shamim with defrauding investors by making false and misleading statements about the company’s finances. The complaint states Shamim told investors YouPlus earned millions of dollars in annual revenue and had more than 100 customers, including Fortune 500 companies. But the scheme dissolved when Shamim is said to have told certain investors YouPlus had earned less than $500,000 and obtained only four paying customers since the company’s 2013 inception.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Feds arrest entrepreneur Mukund Mohan for PPP fraud

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Mukund Mohan

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — U.S. attorneys arrested serial Indian American entrepreneur Mukund Mohan on charges of allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program with fake and altered documents and embezzling more than $5.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds through six shell companies. Mukund Mohan was a former Microsoft and Amazon executive and is currently the CTO of BuildDirect.

Shahid Buttar, who is running for Congress in San Francisco against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is being accused of sexual harassment by comedienne Elizabeth Croydon. Buttar said Croydon’s charges are false.

Apple manufacturer Foxconn has started building iPhone 11 units in a facility near Chennai in India. It’s the first time Apple has made one of its top-tier phones in India. India is the second-biggest smartphone market in the world, second only to China.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India & China slowly move towards disengagement

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India

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India and China held virtual talks and agreed on a complete disengagement of troops along the line of control. But there remains sticking points in multiple areas along the border. India insists bilateral relations will not improve until “full peace and tranquility” are restored.

Police in Schenectady, New York are facing major scrutiny after footage was released of one of their officers applying a neck hold to 31 year old Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud. He was treated and released, but he continues to face two charges of running away and resisting arrest. He’s accused of slashing his neighbors tire, causing $200 of damage. His attorneys are fighting to get prosecutors to drop the charges.

The UK Parliamentary Group, which visited Pakistan Administered Kashmir, and heavily criticized the Indian government for their recent constitutional change applying to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, acknowledged they received nearly $18,000 from the Pakistan Government to make the trip.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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