December 13,2004

Grassley on the New Health, Human Services Secretary Nominee


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Announcement of Health and Human Services secretary nominee
Da: Monday, Dec. 13, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the followingcomment on President Bush’s announcement that he will nominate Environmental ProtectionAgency chief Michael Leavitt to be secretary of Health and Human Services. The FinanceCommittee has primary jurisdiction over the nomination, responsible for holding a nominationhearing and deciding whether to recommend the nominee to the full Senate.

“If confirmed, Governor Leavitt will take over at a critical time. The agency is preparing toimplement the permanent Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2006, faces record Medicaidspending and the challenge of the uninsured, and is undergoing scrutiny from myself and others overthe Food and Drug Administration’s handling of prescription drug safety. As a former three-termgovernor, and chairman of the National Governors Association, Governor Leavitt seems wellequippedto understand rising health care costs and their impact on state and federal budgets. I alsoappreciate his interest in using technology to improve government functions. With their scope andcomplexity, Medicare and Medicaid can benefit from the latest technology. I look forward tolearning more about Governor Leavitt’s ideas for running this important agency.”