Thompson Concerned About Unfilled Senior Posts at HHS
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson yesterday said that a delay in the confirmation of several HHS officials is "hampering progress on cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer's disease," the Boston Globe reports. In comments made after he gave Boston College's commencement speech, Thompson added that policy decisions on medical privacy, patient safety and preventive care are also being deferred as a result of the slow confirmation process for senior officials to oversee health research which this year is "taking longer than ever." Congress has confirmed one HHS assistant secretary out of more than a dozen. Thompson attributed the delay to congressional Democrats and Republicans and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for "dragging out the vetting process." He said, "The [confirmation] system needs to be changed. It's just ridiculous." MIT President Charles Vest said, "People are very worried that research prioritization is not being done, and that the right people to help the new administration shape and promote strong budgets aren't in place" (Healy, Boston Globe, 5/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.