New HHS secretary confirmed

Earlier this week the U.S. Senate confirmed Alex Azar as the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Azar has a strong health care background and related experience serving as a former senior executive for the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly & Co. The Senate vote was 55-43 in favor of his appointment, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as the only Republican to vote against the confirmation.

Azar’s approval as HHS secretary puts him in charge of the largest government-funded department with a trillion-dollar budget.  He will oversee health insurance programs that cover over 130 million people, including Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP, Indian Health Service, food and drug, and other disease detection and prevention agencies. Click here to view an org chart of HSS.

Azar is knowledgeable of HHS having held senior level health positions under former President George W. Bush, including general counsel and deputy secretary for HHS.