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November 11, 2016

Who's on Trump's HHS secretary short list? Here's what we know so far.

Daily Briefing

Reports indicate that President-elect Donald Trump (R) is considering several candidates for HHS secretary under his administration.

Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt (R), who is advising the transition team, said the group is working to have Trump's cabinet nominated and approved within two weeks of the president-elect's inauguration. Leavitt served as HHS secretary in former President George W. Bush's administration.

Nov. 18 webconference: What's the post-election outlook for health policy?

Trump's potential health care cabinet

Politico reports that Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, is one of the top names that has been floated for HHS secretary. Carson sought the Republican presidential nomination before voicing his support for Trump.

Trump recently praised Carson's "brilliant" career as a physician. "I hope that [Carson] will be very much involved in my administration in the coming years," Trump said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump is also considering former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) for the position. Jindal also ran against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.

Jindal previously served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and later as an adviser to the HHS secretary in former President George W. Bush's administration.

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Other people under consideration for the position include:

  • Rich Bagger, executive director of Trump's transition team and a former pharmaceutical industry executive;
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who founded the Columbia Hospital Corporation (which later merged with HCA) and Conservatives for Patient's Rights; and
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who was involved in health reform efforts during his time in Congress and later launched the Center for Health Transformation.

The transition team also is considering whether Trump should appoint House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) as secretary of Veterans Affairs, Politico reports (Bender et al., Wall Street Journal, 11/10; Mongan, McKnight's Long Term Care News, 11/9; Crisp, The Advocate, 11/9; WGNO, 11/9; Gov. Rick Scott bio, accessed 11/10; Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich bio, accessed 11/10; Cook/Restuccia, Politico, 11/9; Chen, Deseret News, 11/10; Sexton, Politico, 8/4/15).

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