Trump's Medicare Chief Wanted Taxpayers To Compensate Her For Jewelry She Lost
Seema Verma, Trump’s head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, sought $47,000 in taxpayer funds after her bags were stolen while she was giving a speech in San Francisco on Aug. 20, 2018, according to Politico.
Of the $47,000 claim, Verma valued her two dozen pieces of stolen jewelry, which included a $5,900 Ivanka Trump-brand pendant, at $43,065. Her claim also included about $2,000 to cover the cost of her stolen clothes and another $2,000 for other goods, such as a $325 claim for moisturizer and a $349 claim for noise-cancelling headphones.
The federal health department reimbursed Verma $2,852.40 for her claim.
“When paying for such goods, the department pays a discounted rate based on age for the items that were lost,” a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said. “It’s perfectly appropriate that the administrator filed a personal property loss claim for goods stolen while on work travel and this is not an unusual practice for federal employees.”
But Verma was only partially reimbursed because the department is expressly prohibited from reimbursing staff for lost items like jewelry, according to the spokesperson.
Verma first publicly attacked “Medicare for All” at her speech in San Francisco, and while the White House applauded her for doing so, a watchdog group later filed a complaint that her attacks on Medicare for All violated the prohibition on federal officials engaging in political activity.