Indian-American Seema Verma has been sworn-in as the head of a key healthcare agency in the Donald Trump administration.
Ms. Verma was sworn in on March 14, 2017 by U.S Vice President Mike Pence as administrator of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
These are part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The $1 trillion agency oversees health insurance programmes for everyone from nursing home residents to newborns.
The Senate confirmed her nomination on Monday by a vote of 55-43, largely along party lines.
Verma is taking over the agency as a Republican healthcare bill moving through the House has reopened the debate over the government’s role in healthcare.
Verma is an Indiana healthcare consultant.
The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), which represents more than 60,000 physicians, welcomed Verma’s appointment.
Her role will extend beyond the insurance programmes - Medicare for senior citizens and Medicaid for the poor - to helping craft and implement the Republican healthcare reform plan to replace Obamacare.