President Donald Trump has named Eric Hargan, a veteran health care lawyer who has briefed business groups on the Affordable Care Act at conferences, to be the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Hargan, who is now the HHS deputy secretary, will be taking charge of HHS during an especially busy time.
HHS is in charge both of federal public health programs and of federal health insurance programs, including HealthCare.gov.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started 2017-2018 flu season activities Oct. 1.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan annual enrollment period Oct. 15.
CMS is on track to start the 2018 open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act public health insurance exchange system Nov. 1.
The White House has said that the president hopes to release an Affordable Care Act executive order by Friday.
Dr. Tom Price, the previous HHS secretary, resigned Sept. 29, after facing charges that he made unnecessary use of private jets while traveling for HHS.
Trump had named Don Wright, a career HHS official, to serve as the temporary head of HHS.
Hargan has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Harvard and a law degree from Columbia.
From 1997 through 2003, he was a partner in corporate development at Winston & Strawn L.L.P. He handled private equity deals, venture capital deals, and mergers and acquisitions.
From 2003 through 2007, while President George W. Bush was in office, Hargan was the deputy general counsel and acting deputy secretary at HHS.
(Image: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
After 2007, he returned to private law practice, first at McDermott Will & Emery, and later, starting in 2010, in the Chicago office of Greenberg Traurig L.L.P.
Hargan helped attendees at business events understand the Affordable Care Act and other health system change topics.