The Secretary of Health and Human Services oversees 11 agencies that have an impact on the health and well-being of Americans in the United States. This means that the Secretary should have a medical and administration background to effectively manage the agencies under his or her charge.
Monitor the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration has an important role in keeping people healthy. They dictate food labeling and quality control of the food that reaches grocery store shelves. Along with overseeing safe food practices, they control what medications are brought to the public. When a new drug is brought to the FDA, they will test it extensively before allowing it to be released. The Secretary has authority over the FDA while the daily operations are managed by the commissioner.
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Manage Medicaid and Medicare Policies
Medicaid and Medicare impacts millions of older Americans as well as children and low-income families. It’s also one of the most controversial agencies that the Secretary will manage. In fact, when a new Secretary is appointed, that person often starts to reform policies to save money as their first act in the position. ObamaCare has been a dividing policy among many politicians, so that’s often where the President and Secretary will start their overhaul of policies.
Oversee the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
There is a director for the CDC, but that person is managed by the Secretary. The CDC has a vital role in the health of all Americans as well as people across the world. The agency will respond to disease outbreaks in other countries to protect the U.S. They have a few roles including research and public health programs. For example, they have researchers who are looking for new vaccines to treat diseases. The CDC monitors health statistics of all citizens while helping to prevent cancer and promote healthy lifestyles.
Supervise the Native American Health Service
The Secretary oversees the administration of health services to Native Americans through programs meant to service the epidemic problem of diabetes and alcoholism among the population. The Secretary will work with Native American leaders to figure out what priorities should be addressed. The program also provides health care for all Native Americans especially veterans.
Appointed by the President
The position of Secretary of Health and Human Services is appointed by the President of the United States. This means it’s given to a person who has a similar agenda to the President. The Secretary will carry out new legislation, advise the President on what legislation should be signed and provide the agencies with the policies from the President.
These are just a few of the duties of the Secretary for the DHHS. This person has a huge responsibility for the health and welfare of all American citizens. The Secretary along with the President of the United States and Congress oversee the policies for the 11 agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services like many other government agencies. The Secretary of Health and Human Services has a grave responsibility to the American people, so it’s vital that the person in this position cares about their health and welfare.