Type: Controversial Essays
Sample donated: Kristen Webb
Last updated: June 22, 2019
As national health started to take precedencein the American society the need for the government to take a vital role inthese issues grew. National Health started gaining prominence as early as 1798when an act was passed for the relief of sick and disabled seamen, whichestablished a federal network of hospitals for the care of merchant seamen.Being that health was becoming an important subject in governing of the Americanpeople, government also took on not only the physical side but as far seeing aneed to regulate the products that went inside individuals’ bodies. Which thenled 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, officialgot 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, specificallythose who may be unable to afford it. To make their goals a reality theDepartment of Health and Human Services get their funding from the government.
Whichthey then use to make the lives of people more prosperous, safe, and healthy.The current budget for this agency is 69 billion dollars in discretionary budgetand 1,046 billion in mandatory funding to them deliver on the promises theymade to the American people.In any administration there isalways going to 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, Administrationfor Children and Families, Center for Medicare, and Medicaid (most of fundinggoes here), and so forth. Also, the agency has 10 regional offices and theoffice of secretary. Thereby, that this agency is a cabinet-level department thesecretary to lead this administration is nominated by the president. Eric D.
Hargan is currently the acting secretary in direct relation of the previous secretaryTom having to resign in 2017. Though this organization had many successes inthe time they have operated what really brought attention to this institutionwas when the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 and then secretary KathleenSebelius did such a tumultuous job unveiling the website for the act. Anotherincident that kept this department in the public eye was back in 2017 when secretaryTom Price had to resign after it was discovered that he was using taxpayerdollar to charter private planes for his own personal use.
The total expensetotaled more than 400,000 dollars. Another issue the department of health andhuman services has had to face is the Food and Drug Administration not beingproactive in making sure that companies are being urgent in removing taintedfoods off shelves. Its been reported that even after inspector general of (HHS)investigated foods between 2012-2015 recalled them there were still companieswho took “average of 57 days to recall items after the F.D.A was apprised ofthe potential hazards”1.
Some 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 been lost in due tothis. President Trump Nominating Alex Azar the ex-executive of Eli Lilly the pharmaceuticalcompany to be the secretary of Department and Health and Human Services.
AlexAzar nomination has been controversial because many feels how is it that hewill be unbiased in his approach with pharmaceutical companies being that hecomes from that background. This then entails the question of how can he lowerdrug prices for the United States when he raised them for Eli Lilly. Additionally,he disagrees on the idea of and president Trump wanting to negotiate with drugprices because he feels “For government to negotiate there, we would have tohave a single national formulary that restricted access to all seniors formedicine. I don’t believe we want to go there in restricting patient access.”2SenatorBernie 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 Departmentof Health and Human services has been effective in carrying across its originalpurpose and done a good job trying to stick to it considering the different obstaclesthey had to face. I think it may be some work internally when it comes its divisionsand departments.
Ultimately, it more a of a leadership and policies issue that needfixing rather the whole organization. This agency has provided a lot of aid andprotected the American people and still works to find advancements. 1 1 Kaplan, Sheila. “F.D.A.
Leaves Tainted Foods on Shelves Too Long, Report Finds.” The New YorkTimes, 2017.2 Pear,Robert. “Trump Likes Drug Price Negotiations; His Nominee for HealthSecretary Doesn’t.” The New York Times, 2018, 2. 3 Pear, Robert.
“HeRaised Drug Prices at Eli Lilly. Can He Lower Them for the U.S.?” The NewYork Times, 2017, 3.