Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Homepage: http://www.dhhs.gov/
November 2008: "THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS) is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
THE DEPARTMENT INCLUDES MORE THAN 300 PROGRAMS, covering a wide spectrum of activities. Some highlights include:
- Health and social science research
- Preventing disease, including immunization services
- Assuring food and drug safety
- Medicare (health insurance for elderly and disabled Americans) and Medicaid (health insurance for low-income people)
- Health information technology
- Financial assistance and services for low-income families
- Improving maternal and infant health
- Head Start (pre-school education and services)
- Faith-based and community initiatives
- Preventing child abuse and domestic violence
- Substance abuse treatment and prevention
- Services for older Americans, including home-delivered meals
- Comprehensive health services for Native Americans
- Medical preparedness for emergencies, including potential terrorism.
HHS REPRESENTS ALMOST A QUARTER OF ALL FEDERAL OUTLAYS, and it administers more grant dollars than all other federal agencies combined. HHS' Medicare program is the nation's largest health insurer, handling more than 1 billion claims per year. Medicare and Medicaid together provide health care insurance for one in four Americans.
HHS WORKS CLOSELY WITH STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, and many HHS-funded services are provided at the local level by state or county agencies, or through private sector grantees. The Department's programs are administered by 11 operating divisions, including eight agencies in the U.S. Public Health Service and three human services agencies. In addition to the services they deliver, the HHS programs provide for equitable treatment of beneficiaries nationwide, and they enable the collection of national health and other data..."http://www.hhs.gov/about/whatwedo.html/
December 2012: 'The [Hobby Lobby-Ed.] lawsuit says the companies' religious beliefs prohibit them from providing insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs. As of August 2012, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employer-provided health care plans to provide "all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.'http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/27/hobby-lobby-faces-millions-in-fines-for-bucking-obamacare/
July 2011: "WASHINGTON — In a big step to carry out the new health care law, the Obama administration unveiled standards on Monday for insurance marketplaces that will allow individuals, families and small businesses in every state to shop for insurance, compare prices and benefits and buy coverage."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/us/politics/12health.html
June 2011: 'WASHINGTON — Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.'http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/health/policy/27docs.html
October 2010: "The Food and Drug Administration and the inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department both announced recently that they would pursue charges against executives personally under a strict liability provision of the law, something that has not been done since 2007 when the three top executives of Purdue Pharma were convicted, sentenced to probation and personally fined $34 million while Purdue paid $600 million."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/business/27drug.html
September 2009: '"Our review found that although the selected states and localities are making progress within the five components of medical surge that we reviewed, more needs to be done to improve states' and localities' ability to respond to a pandemic," investigators from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General concluded in one report.'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/20/AR2009092002541.html
May 2009: "Under the comparative effectiveness program, the Department of Health and Human Services and two agencies under it —the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality — will finance studies that will look at various treatments and will pay for the development of information-gathering tools, like databases of patients being treated for a certain condition."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/business/07compare.html
November 2008: "A last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds....neither the Department of Health and Human Services nor the White House had consulted their agency [EEO] before issuing the proposed rule."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/washington/18abort.html
July 2008: "The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing a draft regulation that would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan or other entity that does not accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions, including providing birth-control pills, IUDs and the Plan B emergency contraceptive."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/30/AR2008073003238.html
July 2008: 'The Bush administration wants to require all recipients of aid under federal health programs to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control....Under the draft of a proposed rule, hospitals, clinics, researchers and medical schools would have to sign “written certifications” as a prerequisite to getting money under any program run by the Department of Health and Human Services.'http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/washington/15rule.html
July 2008: "A spokesman for the United States Department of Health and Human Services said that in April the department asked its inspector general to investigate whether the charity or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had violated state and federal laws. The conference receives $7.6 million a year in federal money, and Commonwealth Catholic Charities is a subcontractor of the bishops’ conference, the spokesman said."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/us/03abortion.html
May 2008: "Medicare officials said the patients, who are by far the most effective lobbyists against the cuts, argued against their own best interests. A 2006 study by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services showed that Medicare pays 12 times as much for the rental of oxygen equipment, called an oxygen concentrator, as its actual cost. The patients are billed for out-of-pocket payments that are more than twice the cost of a new concentrator, $587."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/05/AR2008050502302.html
May 2008: 'Federal officials defend their record, saying they have worked "resolutely and steadily" in the past eight years to combat obesity. They calculate that the Department of Health and Human Services has spent $4.5 billion on prevention, treatment and research since fiscal 2003, although programs that broadly address chronic disease are part of the total. Obesity-specific initiatives include Web-based public education campaigns, public service announcements, new dietary guidelines and, coming by late fall, first-time guidelines on physical activity.'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/09/AR2008050900527.html
May 2008: 'Near the end of the Clinton administration, Health and Human Services lawyers sent around a memo that warned, "[U]sing chemical restraints in cases in which medication is not clinically indicated . . . may put the government at risk of potential liability."'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/13/AR2008051303243.html
October 2007: Of the audits conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, 39 focused on drug benefits, 44 focused on managed care plans and 8 examined other types of private plans.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/07/us/07medicare.html
July 2007: The unnecessary secrecy is a “significant problem,” said Mark Rothstein, chairman of a privacy subcommittee that advises the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Hipaa. “It’s drummed into them that there are rules they have to follow without any perspective,” he said about health care providers. “So, surprise, surprise, they approach it in a defensive, somewhat arbitrary and unreasonable way.”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/03/health/policy/03hipaa.html
April 2007: The Department of Health and Human Services “fails to hold homes with a long history of harming residents accountable for the poor care provided,” the investigators said.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/health/22nursing.html
January 2006: Drugmakers blamed the Bush administration for issuing a legal opinion that suggests companies could run afoul of anti-kickback laws if they provide free drugs to Medicare beneficiaries. That guidance, from the Health and Human Services Inspector General's office, warned that providing free medicine to someone enrolled in a Medicare plan could be viewed as an effort to keep the patient on that particular product, rather than a generic or cheaper version sold by a competitor.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/26/AR2006012602061.html
January 2004: Federal law generally bars presidential appointees such as Scully from discussing possible employment with firms involved in, or hoping to be involved in, matters handled by those officials. Scully, however, obtained a waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services, apparently without the White House's knowledge.http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A14474-2004Jan13
Role Name Type Last Updated Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Organization Oct 9, 2006 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Administration on Aging (AoA) Organization Jun 12, 2008 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Organization Mar 30, 2008 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Organization Mar 5, 2004 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Organization Aug 5, 2004 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Child Welfare Information Gateway Organization May 20, 2011 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Organization Oct 18, 2007 Status/Name Change from Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) Organization Aug 19, 2005 Advised by (past or present) National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) Organization Jan 26, 2012 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (NCCANCH) Organization Oct 18, 2006 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) National Institutes of Health (NIH) Organization Feb 6, 2005 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) Organization Oct 19, 2006 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Organization Nov 17, 2003 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Surgeon General of the United States Organization Jun 16, 2005 Owned by (partial or full, past or present) US Federal Government - Executive Branch Organization May 12, 2004 Organization Executive (past or present) Joseph R. Antos Ph.D. Person Jan 28, 2007 Organization Executive (past or present) Dr. David Blumenthal M.D., MPP Person Mar 15, 2010 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Joseph A. Califano Jr. Person Advised by (past or present) Prof. Arthur Caplan Person Jan 25, 2006 Advised by (past or present) Prof. Michael Fiore M.D. Person Jun 9, 2005 Organization Executive (past or present) Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg M.D. Person Mar 4, 2010 Organization Executive (past or present) Surgeon General C. Everett Koop M.D., D.Sc Person Jul 1, 2006 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Governor Michael O. Leavitt Person Mar 17, 2006 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Stephen Moses Person Mar 12, 2006 Organization Executive (past or present) Todd Park Person Jun 12, 2010 Organization Executive (past or present) Thomas E. Perez Esq. MPP Person Feb 28, 2010 Advised by (past or present) Prof. Ernest D. Prentice Ph.D. Person Aug 16, 2006 Organization Executive (past or present) Thomas "Tom" A. Scully Person Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Gov. Kathleen Sebelius Person Jun 17, 2009 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Prof. Donna E. Shalala Ph.D. Person Sep 19, 2006 Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Robert Ellis Smith Esq. Person Sep 6, 2006 Organization Executive (past or present) William R. Steiger Person Jul 31, 2007 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Dr. Louis W. Sullivan Person Jul 13, 2003 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Tommy G. Thompson Person Sep 7, 2006 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Diana Zuckerman Ph.D. Person Dec 5, 2005
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Dec 27, 2012 Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare
QUOTE: Craft store giant Hobby Lobby... opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion. Hobby Lobby and affiliate Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain, sued the federal government for violating their owners' religious freedom and ability to freely exercise their religion.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 11, 2011 Obama Administration Rolls Out Standards for Health Insurance Marketplaces
QUOTE: The regulations issued Monday, which provide a fair amount of latitude to states, were welcomed by consumer groups, patient advocates and some business lobbyists. But they may not satisfy liberals who argue that the exchanges should tightly regulate insurance and contract with selected health plans that offer the best deals. And they may not satisfy conservatives...
New York Times Jun 26, 2011 U.S. Plans Stealth Survey on Access to Doctors
QUOTE: Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it....In response to the drumbeat of criticism, a federal health official said doctors need not worry because the data would be kept confidential.
New York Times Apr 07, 2011 10 things that could ruin your day if the government shuts down
QUOTE: Roughly 800,000 federal workers won't get paid because they're considered nonessential and therefore, the first to be furloughed... Troops, including those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, may not be paid on time... A government shutdown doesn't actually save taxpayers money.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 01, 2011 States Diverge on How to Deal With Health Care Ruling
QUOTE: in a few states that are party to the litigation, Republican governors and attorneys general declared the expansive health care law effectively null as a result of the judge’s ruling. They suggested they would suspend planning and implementation until appeals courts could rule...
New York Times Oct 27, 2010 Glaxo to Pay $750 Million for Sale of Bad Products
QUOTE: GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug giant, has agreed to pay $750 million to settle criminal and civil complaints that the company for years knowingly sold contaminated baby ointment and an ineffective antidepressant — the latest in a growing number of whistle-blower lawsuits that drug makers have settled with multimillion-dollar fines.
New York Times Apr 16, 2010 In Hospital Decision, Obama Finds Safe Ground on Gay Rights
QUOTE: President Obama has found a way to support gay rights that least offends those who oppose them. Allowing same-sex partners the same rights as straight couples to visit and make medical decisions for their hospitalized loved ones enjoys broad public backing, even as the country remains polarized over the question of marriage rights for gay men and lesbians.
New York Times Nov 09, 2009 Do We Have a Winner?: How to reform the broken medical malpractice system. (prescriptions)
QUOTE: here's the dilemma: On one hand, doctors believe—despite some evidence to the contrary—that there are too many frivolous lawsuits, and they respond by ordering a lot of unnecessary testing and treatment... On the other hand, patients often get harmed by negligent medical care, and lawsuits are their only way to fight back.
Slate Oct 07, 2009 Group Resists Korean Stigma for Unwed Mothers
QUOTE: Yet each year, [South Korean] social pressure drives thousands of unmarried women to choose between abortion, which is illegal but rampant, and adoption, which is considered socially shameful but is encouraged by the government. The few women who decide to raise a child alone risk a life of poverty and disgrace.
New York Times Sep 21, 2009 Reports Criticize Pandemic Planning: Flu Readiness Check Finds Gaps In Care, Coverage
QUOTE: Many state and local governments are not adequately prepared to deal with a surge of patients in a flu pandemic or quickly distribute vaccine and antiviral drugs...
Washington Post Sep 21, 2009 Debate Flaring Over Grants for Research
QUOTE: Managers at the National Institutes of Health are increasingly ignoring the advice of scientific review panels and giving hundreds of millions of dollars a year to scientists whose projects are deemed less scientifically worthy than those denied money.
New York Times Sep 21, 2009 When Less Paperwork Means No Science: The Paperwork Reduction Act and Unintended Consequences for Public Health Research
QUOTE: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 has had the unintended effect of impeding research and evaluation in public health.
Science Progress Aug 26, 2009 Study Finds Radiation Risk for Patients
QUOTE: At least four million Americans under age 65 are exposed to high doses of radiation each year from medical imaging tests, according to a new study...
New York Times Aug 25, 2009 In a flu pandemic, what can the government do to you? A report by the Centers for Disease Control, released Tuesday, raises concern about Washington’s potential response to the H1N1 virus.
QUOTE: Since 9/11, pandemic planning has taken a more authoritarian tone that harks back to the pre-vaccine days of forced quarantines during outbreaks, according to an American Civil Liberties Union report...
Christian Science Monitor Aug 04, 2009 More D.C. Kids Had Elevated Lead Than Stated
QUOTE: More than twice as many D.C. children as previously reported by federal and local health officials had high levels of lead in their blood amid the city's drinking water crisis, according to congressional investigators, throwing into doubt assurances by those officials that the lead in tap water did not seriously harm city children.
Washington Post Jul 06, 2009 Report Faults Performance Bonuses for Contractors: Some Agencies 'Unaware' of Policy
QUOTE: Federal agencies have awarded billions in bonuses to contractors regardless of whether the work was deemed satisfactory...
Washington Post Jul 02, 2009 Pay-for-Chat Plan Falls Flat at Washington Post
QUOTE: The [Washington] Post decided Thursday to cancel plans to charge lobbyists and trade groups $25,000 or more to sponsor private, off-the-record dinner parties at the home of its publisher...
New York Times May 25, 2009 Referral System Turns Patients Into Commodities
QUOTE: Physician-to-physician referrals are the currency of day-to-day transactions in medicine, but as with any currency, they can be manipulated.
New York Times May 07, 2009 10 Things Your Nutritionist Won't Tell You
QUOTE: "Take your vitamins with a spoonful of skepticism....I can't cure your stress eating...but the obesity epidemic is sure fattening my wallet"
Smart Money May 06, 2009 New Effort Reopens a Medical Minefield
QUOTE: Spine specialists quickly attacked the report, calling it flawed. One medical device maker, Medtronic, sued unsuccessfully to block its release. Republican lawmakers tried to kill the agency that issued the report. It survived, but its funding was drastically cut, and it decided to stop issuing guidelines. Now, 15 years later, the Obama administration is entering this same medical minefield.
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