Another Transition for HHS
Trump names Eric Hargan as Acting Secretary
Health and Human Services (HHS) has its third director in the last month, following the confirmation of Eric Hargan last week. Hargan, who worked within HHS during the George W. Bush Administration and was part of Donald Trump’s HHS transition team, follows in the footsteps of Don J. Wright, who served briefly following the resignation of Tom Price.
Although Hargan’s confirmation received bipartisan support (seven Democrats supported the nomination) Oregon Senator Ron Wyden was fiercely opposed, and went so far as to accuse Hargan of playing a role in sabotaging the Affordable Care Act.
The search for a permanent secretary will continue, and is expected to be contentious within the Senate, given price’s stated desire to “reimagine” the department in a lower-cost role. Possible candidates include CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
Formerly a practicing attorney in Chicago, Hargan’s previous positions within HHS include deputy general counsel, principal associate deputy secretary and acting deputy secretary.