Understanding the President’s Cabinet: HHS Secretary
Religion & Liberty Online

Understanding the President’s Cabinet: HHS Secretary

Note: This is the eighth in a weekly series of explanatory posts on the officials and agencies included in the President’s Cabinet. See the series introduction here.


Cabinet position: Secretary of Health and Human Services

Department: Department of Health and Human Services

Current Secretary: Thomas E. Price, M.D.

Succession: The HHS secretary is twelfth in the presidential line of succession.

Department Mission: “It is the mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. We fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.” (Source)
Organization: The HHS includes 10 operating agencies: Food and Drug Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Administration for Children and Families, and Administration for Community Living.

Department Budget: $1,150 billion

Number of employees: Approximately 80,000

Primary Duties of the Secretary: The HHS Secretary oversees the largest civilian department within the federal government and advises the President on health-related policy issues. The HHS Secretary also oversees Medicaid and Medicare, the two largest insurance programs in the U.S.


Secretary Info

Secretary: Thomas E. Price, M.D.

Previous occupation:  Dr. Price was an orthopaedic surgeon and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery.

Education:  Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Michigan

Previous government experience: Prior to becoming HHS Secretary, Dr. Price was the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 6th congressional district.

Religious Affiliation:  Presbyterian

Notable achievements:
Chairman of the House Budget Committee

Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee

Chairman of the Republican Study Committee

Notable quotes:

On representatives in government: “The American people need to know that there are folks here fighting as hard as they can for individual liberty, economic freedom, appropriate national security and the fundamental moral values that have made our nation the greatest nation in the history of mankind.”

On Obamacare: “Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration blatantly ignored the voices of the American people and rammed through a hyper-partisan piece of legislation that will have a disastrous effect on our nation’s health care system.”

On replacing Obamacare: “You can’t just change [Obamacare] overnight … What we believe is important is to allow individuals voluntarily to move to the kind of health coverage that they seek for themselves and for their families. We’re not going to force anybody to do anything like the Obama administration has done.”

Previous and forthcoming posts in this seriesSecretary of StateSecretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Homeland Security

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).