UPDATE: On January 29, Mr. Azar was officially sworn in as the as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Original Alert: On Wednesday, January 24, the United States Senate voted 55 – 43 to confirm Mr. Alex Azar as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Alex Azar has served in various health policy capacities, both public and private, for decades. After working in the Department since 2001, he served as President Bush’s Deputy Secretary of HHS from 2005 to 2007, after unanimous approval from the Senate.
Later, Mr. Azar worked in the pharmaceutical industry, serving in various roles with Eli Lilly starting in 2007.
Among many other achievements, he is the recipient of the Surgeon General’s Medallion, the highest civilian medal awarded by the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
Upon his swearing in, Mr. Azar will join the cabinet of President Donald Trump, replacing Eric D. Hargan, who has been the Acting Secretary at HHS since October of last year. Mr. Azar succeeds Former-Secretary Tom Price, M.D., who resigned in September.
The HHS Secretary is responsible for overseeing Medicaid and Medicare, the Food and Drug Administration, continued implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) program, execution of the Affordable Care Act and many other health policy issues.