Malloy [Cincinnati]: New HHS Secretary Nominated Commentary
Malloy [Cincinnati]: New HHS Secretary Nominated

Elizabeth Malloy, University of Cincinnati College of Law:

"President Bush today selected Mike Leavitt, the current EPA Chief, to be the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. In making his selection, President Bush said that Leavitt is a "fine executive" and "a man of great compassion" and he further lauded Leavitt explaining that "He's an ideal choice to lead one of the largest departments of the United States government."

Leavitt stated, "I look forward … to the implementation of the Medicare prescription drug program in 2006, medical liability reform and finding ways to reduce the cost of health care," Leavitt further said. "I am persuaded that we can use technology and innovation to meet our most noble aspirations and not compromise our other values that we hold so dear."

Many in the media has reported that Dr. Mark McClellan, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, had the inside track for the HHS job, White House officials and many health care analysts said.   However, Dr. McClellan is overseeing the new Medicare prescription drug law, which takes full effect in 2006, and Bush was said to have been reluctant to take McClellan from his post during this critical period.

For more information on Mike Leavitt, see for a general biography and the LATimes and CNN for further information on the announcement.  National Public Radio had a long discussion about Leavitt on their evening "All Things Considered" program tonight.  They also detailed some of the problems that he may have in receving Senate confirmation." [December 13, 2003; HealthLawProf Blog has the post]

Opinions expressed in JURIST Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.