'VEEP was a documentary': Internet mocks absurd details of a 'cold war that got hot' between Trump HHS secretary and top healthcare administrator

'VEEP was a documentary': Internet mocks absurd details of a 'cold war that got hot' between Trump HHS secretary and top healthcare administrator
Office of the Vice President

On Wednesday, Politico reported that Washington, D.C. is seeing a bitter feud between Alex Azar (secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and Seema Verma (administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). Verma has applauded President Donald Trump’s recent order for hospitals and health insurance companies to post their prices, writing in the Chicago Tribute that she is “taking swift action to implement it.” But Azar, during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program, tried to take credit for it — and Twitter is seeing plenty of responses to the Verma/Azar feud.

According to Politico’s sources, there has been considerable bitterness between Verma and Azar. One of those sources, described by Politico as an “official who’s been in meetings with both Azar and Verma staffers this month,” said of the feud, “It’s a cold war that got hot.”

Politico reports that according to Verma, Azar tried to block her from Air Force One. The animosity between the two of them, according to Politico, “reached new levels this month as it played out in the media, driven by leaked documents and unflattering reports that some in both camps now concede backfired on both officials.”

On December 12, Verma tweeted, “Thanks to the leadership & support of @POTUS & @SecAzar, @CMSGov continues to grant states flexibility in shaping their #Medicaid programs in a way that works best for them. We look forward to helping drive more innovative solutions!” And Politico’s Dan Diamond, responding to Verma’s tweet, posted, “First time since early August that Verma has praised Azar’s leadership on Twitter, coming off a White House meeting last night where they were told to coexist (and stop the knife fights and subtweeting) if they want to keep their jobs.”

Diamond isn’t the only Twitter user who has been weighing in on the feud.

Politico's Adam Cancryn, @adamcancryn, tweeted that Vice President Mike Pence and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney are sending a “message to both Azar and Verma: find a way to get along.” And @TomASchroeder posted, “Looks like project managers Seema and Alex both survived the boardroom this week without getting fired.”

Susan Sternberg, @susansternberg, took a swipe at both the Trump Administration and Politico, tweeting, “These Trump appointees may have ‘survived’ — but due to their failure to reduce drug manufacturer profits, their ACA cuts, & Verma’s cruel Medicaid work reporting reqmts, many people who need healthcare do not. Guess Politico doesn’t find that worth mentioning....”

Dave Perrino sarcastically posted that Azar and Verma need to feud “because there cannot be too much chaos in the Trump Administration.” And @ayallgood was sarcastic as well, posting, “Maybe he stole her crappy tRump jewelry.”


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