Kaiser Health News
Prospective Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, currently the chairman of the House Budget Committee, brings a distinctive to-do list to the agency. And, if confirmed by the Senate, he will have tremendous independent power to get things done.
While he will report to the president, heads of major agencies like HHS — with a budget of more than $1 trillion for the current fiscal year — can interpret laws in different ways than their predecessors, and rewrite regulations and guidance, which is how many important policies are actually carried out.
“Virtually everything people do every day is impacted by the way the Department of Health and Human Services is run,” said Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. HHS responsibilities include food and drug safety, biomedical research, disease prevention and control, as well as oversight over everything from medical laboratories to nursing homes.
Price, a Georgia physician who opposes the Affordable Care Act, abortion and funding for Planned Parenthood, among other things, could have a rapid impact without even a presidential order or an act of Congress [Read more…]