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AP file photo

On top of everything else, we might have a Senate confirmation vote for Seema Verma this week — and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may finally have a permanent chief. But while we have a pretty good idea how she'd approach Medicaid reform, based on her work in Indiana, there's a lot we still don't know about her views on other issues.

Read on to see how she answered some of the written questions senators sent her after her Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing.

  • On Medicaid block grants, to Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada: Congress will decide, and "I look forward to providing any technical assistance that your office or other Members of Congress seek in the development of legislative reforms to the Medicaid program."
  • On precision medicine, and what to do if Medicare's payment systems are too outdated to deal with it: "Making sure that Medicare provides access to innovative treatments will be a top priority for CMS if I am confirmed."
  • On what she'd do to take action against rising drug costs: "If confirmed, I will work with the CMS staff to evaluate potential options and ensure that beneficiaries' access to high quality and affordable drugs is a top priority for CMS."

She did promise that "transparency and consistency in the [Medicaid] waiver process will be priorities for CMS," and suggested that she'll keep the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation — as long as it tests "appropriate innovative models" and makes sure the demonstration programs are voluntary. (Critics say it has made too many experiments mandatory.)

Go deeper

4 mins ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media company is rebranding its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media giant to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
41 mins ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.