Health and Human Services

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Trump's HHS Nominee Comes From Pharmaceutical Industry

But Alex Azar also previously served at the agency as deputy secretary

(Newser) - President Trump has picked a former top pharmaceutical and government executive to be his Health and Human Services secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, Alex Azar will oversee a $1 trillion department responsible for major health insurance programs, medical research, food and drug safety, and public health. The Azar nomination... More »

Report: Undocumented Teens Stopped From Having Abortions

ACLU takes up the case of one teen in Texas

(Newser) - The Trump administration has allegedly been preventing undocumented pregnant teenagers at federally funded shelters from getting abortions. One case will test the policy: The ACLU is suing on behalf of a pregnant 17-year-old, named only as Jane Doe, in a Brownsville, Texas, shelter. Politico takes an extensive look at the... More »

Health Secretary Resigns Over Travel Flap

Tom Price is out after taking expensive charter flights

(Newser) - President Trump's health secretary has resigned after his travel on costly charter flights triggered investigations and angered his boss, the AP reports. Tom Price's partial repayment and public regrets couldn't save his job. The Health and Human Services secretary became the first member of the president's... More »

HHS Secretary: I'll Reimburse Government for Charter Flights

Tom Price apologizes for costly travel

(Newser) - Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is apologizing for taking costly charter flights on the taxpayer's dime and says he is cooperating with investigations into his travel. Price says he'll reimburse the government by writing a check Thursday to reimburse Treasury, and he's pledging not to... More »

HHS Head Too Busy to Fly Commercial, Says Rep

Democrats are calling for an investigation

(Newser) - Government officials "check every possible source for travel needs, including commercial, but commercial travel is not always feasible" for Tom Price, who has "an incredibly demanding schedule." That's how a spokesperson defended the Health and Human Services secretary Wednesday after a Politico report claimed Price used... More »

Reporter Says He Was 'Arrested for Asking Question'

Dan Heyman repeatedly asked HHS chief about pre-existing conditions

(Newser) - Everyone's got lots of questions about the American Health Care Act that passed the House last week, and Health and Human Services chief Tom Price seems like he'd be a good person to ask. Reporter Dan Heyman of Public News Service found out that wasn't the case... More »

Meals on Wheels Sees a Huge Surge in Donations

But federal budget's impact on program is unclear at this point

(Newser) - Fears that the Meals on Wheels program would be gutted under President Trump's first budget has translated into a significant boost in donations to the group. The national umbrella organization said it received $50,000 in online donations Thursday after Trump released his prelminary budget , reports Reuters . The typical... More »

GOP to Dems Skipping Cabinet Votes: 'Stop Acting Like Idiots'

Democrats want more information before votes for Mnuchin for Treasury, Price for HHS

(Newser) - Senate confirmation hearings for President Trump's Cabinet choices got heated Tuesday—or at least the ones that took place. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee angered not only by Trump's recent travel ban , but also by his firing of acting AG Sally Yates , forced votes Tuesday to be... More »

Trump Health Pick 'Offended' by Questions About Stocks

Tom Price grilled by Franken, Warren

(Newser) - Donald Trump's choice for health secretary declared himself to be "offended" by Sen. Elizabeth Warren's questions about his investments during Wednesday's Senate Health Committee hearing. Warren was one of numerous Democrats who pressed Rep. Tom Price about his stock transactions in health care companies, the Washington ... More »

Dental Coverage Inflated ObamaCare Numbers

Enrollment numbers drop back under projected 7M as a result

(Newser) - The federal government happily announced in September that ObamaCare enrollments were above 7 million, meaning that a projection issued by the Congressional Budget Office last year had been met. Look now, however, and the figure is back below 7 million, reports Bloomberg . Why? To get to the higher figure, the... More »

100K Got ObamaCare on Day 1: White House

HHS secretary says website is running pretty smoothly

(Newser) - After last year's dismal debut HealthCare.gov is feeling much better now, and is busily connecting Americans with health care plans as the second sign-up period opened yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said today. The site took in 100,000 new applications in its first 24... More »

Obama: Sebelius Will 'Go Down in History'

He praises outgoing health chief, and his nominee to succeed her

(Newser) - President Obama made it official today, announcing that Kathleen Sebelius is indeed resigning as health secretary . Politico highlights a quote by Obama at today's ceremony in the Rose Garden that could probably work for both her supporters and critics: She will "go down in history" as the leader... More »

Health Chief Sebelius Is Resigning

White House budget official Sylvia Mathews Burwell expected to replace her

(Newser) - ObamaCare may have rebounded from its disastrous start, but health secretary Kathleen Sebelius won't be around for the next phase, reports the Wall Street Journal . In fact, Sebelius already has submitted her resignation, and President Obama has accepted it, reports the New York Times . The move is expected to... More »

At 11th Hour, Obama Eases Health Care Mandate

People who lost policies can claim hardship exemption

(Newser) - In a surprise move, the Obama administration essentially lifted the individual mandate last night for anyone who saw their insurance policy cancelled thanks to the Affordable Care Act, just days before the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage. These consumers will be able to apply for... More »

Sebelius Calls for HealthCare.gov Investigation

She thinks HHS needs to improve how it handles contracts

(Newser) - Many in Washington are calling for an investigation into HealthCare.gov's disastrous debut—and now, that includes the woman who was in charge of it. In a blog post today, Kathleen Sebelius announced that she has asked Health and Human Services' inspector general to look into the website's... More »

HealthCare.gov Probably Won't Be Ready by Deadline

Insurers seek direct way to sign up customers

(Newser) - The Obama administration has pledged to get HealthCare.gov running smoothly by Nov. 30, but an insider tells the Washington Post that's looking like a pipe dream. For one thing, it can only deal with half the traffic it's supposed to handle—it runs into problems when 20,... More »

Republicans Turn Up Heat on Sebelius (Sort of)

President stands by health secretary despite (some) pressure from GOP

(Newser) - Ten Republican senators sent a letter to President Obama yesterday demanding that he fire Kathleen Sebelius over ObamaCare's online debut, but Obama wasted no time in reaffirming his support for the embattled Health and Human Services secretary. "If a similar rollout from any other national company or private-sector... More »

There's No 'iPod Presidency' in Old-Guard DC

Old organizations like HHS don't tend to be 'nimble': Megan McArdle

(Newser) - We should have known the health care website wouldn't be sleek and speedy—even if we were hoping for a tech-savvy "iPod presidency." After all, the website is the product of a Health and Human Services department that's been around for a while, and a longstanding... More »

6 ObamaCare Questions for Sebelius as She Hits Hot Seat

She testifies before Congress today

(Newser) - Kathleen Sebelius is testifying before Congress this morning in eagerly anticipated remarks about problem-plagued HealthCare.gov, but you may not hear anything new. Politico reports that her eight pages of prepared testimony are, almost verbatim, the same as the testimony offered to Congress yesterday by head of the Centers for... More »

ObamaCare Penalty Delayed —but Not Due to Website

WH says it's just eliminating confusion

(Newser) - Good news for procrastinators: Americans will now have an extra month and a half to get health insurance before facing a penalty under ObamaCare, meaning they won't face a fine if they sign up for a plan by March 31. The six-week delay (a change of tune for the... More »

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