The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the primary organization in the U.S. committed to the protection and improvement of Americans’ health. Representing almost one quarter of the nation’s overlays, HHS administers more grant dollars than all other federal agencies combined. The agency is also responsible for the Medicare program, which handles more than 1 billion claims per year and, together with Medicaid, provides insurance for one in four Americans. HHS runs 11 operating divisions, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration.
HHS is headed by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who served as the governor of Kansas before being appointed HHS Secretary by President Obama in 2009. The secretarial position is a part of the president’s Cabinet. Other notable programs funded by the HHS budget include the Head Start preschool program and services for Native Americans and the elderly.