Alex Azar Nominated to Lead U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

President Trump has nominated Alex Azar, JD, former president of the U.S. arm of Eli Lilly & Co., to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Mike Leavitt, who was HHS secretary when Mr. Azar was deputy secretary under President George W. Bush, told NPR, “[Azar] had full responsibility as deputy secretary for the regulatory processes at HHS.” Mr. Azar is likely to use that knowledge to alter the Affordable Care Act to make it friendlier to Republican ideals, Mr. Leavitt noted.

Mr. Azar also favors moving authority over Medicaid to the states. His position on drug prices is less clear. President Trump said before his inauguration that he wants the government to work to lower drug prices, and he wants the Medicare program to use its buying power to negotiate better prices.

If confirmed, Mr. Azar would replace Tom Price, MD, who resigned from HHS in September after an investigation found that he had taken private charter aircraft on work-related trips when cheaper commercial flights were available.

Source: NPR News, November 13, 2017.

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