Trump, Pence step in as heads of HHS, CMS clash

The relationship between CMS Administrator Seema Verma and HHS Secretary Alex Azar has become so fraught that both President Trump and Vice President Pence have stepped in to try to “salvage the situation,” which has threatened to undermine the administration’s healthcare agenda, Axios reported, citing three senior administration officials.

According to the report, Azar met with Verma in early December at the request of Pence. Previously, on Nov. 15, Trump “challenged Azar about his troubled working relationship with Verma,” and expects the two to work together for his healthcare agenda as the 2020 election creeps closer. Another November report by Politico laid bare just how sour the relationship between the two health leaders has turned over the past few years.

The collapse of the working relationship between Azar and Verma has already set back the administration’s agenda, including disrupting the rollout of initiatives such as Verma’s replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

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