In this paper it will analyze if sincethe inception of the Department of Health and Human Services has it kept trueto its original purpose and look at the many different obstacles it has encounteredto do so.As national health started to takeprecedence in the American society the need for the government to take a vitalrole in these issues grew.
National Health started gaining prominence as earlyas 1798 when an act was passed for the relief of sick and disabled seamen,which established a federal network of hospitals for the care of merchantseamen. Being that health was becoming an important subject in governing of theAmerican people, the government also took on not only the physical side but asfar seeing a need to regulate the products that went inside individuals’bodies. Which then led to the pure food and drugs act being passed in 1906,authorizing the government to monitor the purity of foods and the safety ofmedicines. In taking on these issues government knew they would need aprominent base, that can conduct research and provide aid to protect thegeneral health and lives of the American people regardless if financiallycapable or not.
In 1939 the Federal Security Agency was created, bringingtogether related federal activities in the fields of health, education, andsocial insurance. Thus, the Cabinet-level Department of Health, Education, andWelfare was created under President Eisenhower, officially coming intoexistence April 11, 1953, but the Department of Health and Human Services officiallygot its name on May 4, 1980.The Department of Health and HumanServices oversees the implementation of numerous health and well-fare programs.
Therefore, its mission is to “enhance and protect the health and well-being ofall Americans.” The Agency fulfills this promise “by providing for effectivehealth and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health,and social services.” Through enacting policies that protect Americans healthand provide essential health benefits to citizens, department of health andhuman services allows everyone an opportunity to have basic medical care,specifically those who may be unable to afford it.
To make their goals areality the Department of Health and Human Services get their funding from thegovernment. Which they then use to make the lives of people more prosperous,safe, and healthy. The current budget for this agency is 69 billion dollars in discretionarybudget and 1,046 billion in mandatory funding to them deliver on the promisesthey made to the American people.In any administration, there isalways going to be obstacles that must be conquered for that institution tocontinue to grow and excel in its original mission. The Department of Health and Human Serviceshas 11 operating divisions which ranges from the National Institutes of Health,Food and Drug Administration, Center for Disease Control and Prevention,Administration for Children and Families, Center for Medicare, and Medicaid(most of the funding goes here), and so forth.
Also, the agency has 10 regionaloffices and the office of secretary. Thereby, that this agency is acabinet-level department the secretary to lead this administration is nominatedby the president. Eric D. Hargan is currently the acting secretary in directrelation to the previous secretary Tom having to resign in 2017. Though thisorganization had many successes in the time they have operated what reallybrought attention to this institution was when the Affordable Care Act waspassed in 2010 and then secretary Kathleen Sebelius did such a poor jobunveiling the website for the act. Another incident that kept this departmentin the public eye was back in 2017 when secretary Tom Price had to resign afterit was discovered that he was using taxpayer dollar to charter private planesfor his own personal use. The total expense totaled more than 400,000 dollars.
Another issue the department of health and human services has had to face isthe Food and Drug Administration not being proactive in making sure thatcompanies are being urgent in removing tainted foods off shelves. It’s beenreported that even after inspector general of (HHS) investigated foods between2012-2015 recalled them there were still companies who took “average of 57 daysto recall items after the F.D.
A was apprised of the potential hazards”.1Some companies even went has long as 303 days to begin the process. TheDepartment has come on under some serious scrutiny regarding the current fluseason and their imperfect vaccine and the few lives that were lost in due tothis. President Trump Nominating Alex Azar the ex-executive of Eli Lilly thepharmaceutical company to be the secretary of Department and Health and HumanServices. Alex Azar nomination has been controversial because many feel how isit that he will be unbiased in his approach to pharmaceutical companies beingthat he comes from that background. This then entails the question of how canhe lower drug prices for the United States when he raised them for Eli Lilly.Additionally, he disagrees on the idea of and president Trump wanting tonegotiate with drug prices because he feels “For government to negotiate there,we would have to have a single national formulary that restricted access to allseniors for medicine.
I don’t believe we want to go there in restrictingpatient access.”2 SenatorBernie is quoted saying “We need an H.H.
S secretary who is willing to take onthe greed of the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drugs prices,not one who has financially benefited from this greed”.3Overall, I believe the Department of Health and Human Services has beeneffective in carrying across its original purpose and done a good job trying tostick to it considering the different obstacles they had to face. I think itmay be some work internally when it comes to its divisions and departments.Ultimately, it more an of a leadership and policies issue that needs fixingrather the whole organization. This agency has provided a lot of aid andprotected the American people and still works to find advancements. 1 Kaplan,Sheila.
“F.D.A. Leaves Tainted Foods on Shelves Too Long, ReportFinds.” The New York Times, 2017.
2 Pear,Robert. “Trump Likes Drug Price Negotiations; His Nominee for HealthSecretary Doesn’t.” The New York Times, 2018.3 Pear, Robert.
“He Raised Drug Prices at Eli Lilly. Can HeLower Them for the U.S.?” The New York Times, 2017, 3.