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Secretary Mike Leavitt: HHS Priorities

Every American Insured

Every American has access to basic health insurance at an affordable price. State governments, with help from the federal government, use innovative approaches to expand access to coverage. Changes in tax law create an even playing field for those who buy coverage through their employer or as an individual. Programs such as Medicare and Medicaid which cover the elderly, disabled, and those in need are reformed and strengthened.  Visit the Every American Insured Web site.

Insurance for Children in Need

Low-income children continue to be covered by health insurance. The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is renewed for another five years, is funded at appropriate levels, and remains focused on children in need. Visit the Every American Insured Web site and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Web site.


Value-Driven Health Care

We have a health care system where there is competition based on price and quality. Engaged consumers demand and receive better value. The value-driven cornerstones become integrated throughout the health-care system and form the foundation for better health, at lower cost for all Americans. The growth of health care costs is restrained because consumers know the cost and quality of their health care and they have a financial incentive to seek higher quality at lower cost. Visit Web site  

Information Technology

Secure interoperable electronic records are available to patients and their doctors anytime, anywhere. Immediate access to accurate information reduces dangerous medical errors and helps control health-care costs. Visit Web site  

Personalized Health Care

Health care is tailored to the individual. The potential for disease is identified through improved information ? including genomic information - and addressed through preemptive intervention. Discovery and innovation move higher quality and safer medical products to the market faster and more cost-effectively. Visit Web site  

Health Diplomacy

Goodwill is fostered through health care - a universal language of caring. HHS and other federal agencies train Central American health-care workers and provide direct patient care. Collaboration is fostered worldwide through partnerships with governments and the private sector around health issues. The President's emergency plan for AIDS relief becomes one model of outreach. Visit Web site  


A culture of wellness helps prevent debilitating and costly health problems. Individual health care is built on a foundation of responsibility for personal wellness, which includes participating in regular physical activity, eating a healthful diet, taking advantage of medical screenings, and making healthy choices to avoid risky behaviors. Visit Web site  

Louisiana Health Care System

Adversity turns to advantage. The Louisiana Health Care System of antiquated, inefficient emergency room care becomes a place where every citizen has access to basic and affordable health insurance coverage, allowing for prevention-centered, neighborhood-located and electronically-connected medical care. Visit Web site archived material  


Americans are better prepared for an influenza pandemic as well as the health consequences from other emergencies and disasters. The capacity to rapidly produce vaccine is increased, national stockpiles and distribution systems are in place, communication and disease monitoring systems are expanded, and local preparedness has been dramatically enhanced. Planning and preparedness encompasses all levels of government and society. Visit the Pandemic Preparedness Web site and visit the Emergency Preparedness Web site.

 Ongoing Initiatives

Medicare Rx

Every senior has access to affordable prescription drugs. Consumers will inspire plans to provide better benefits at lower cost. Medicare Part D is streamlined and improved to better connect people with their benefits. Pay for Performance methodologies serve to increase health care quality. Visit Web site  

Medicaid Modernization

Sustainable Medicaid programs help provide coverage for millions of people who are not covered now. People in differing economic situations are helped through flexible benefits and incentives tailored to meet their needs. People with disabilities have access to care in their homes and communities. Visit Web site  

Commissioned Corps Renewal

We have learned from the past and are better prepared for the future. There is an ethic of preparedness at HHS and throughout our Nation. We have a Commissioned Corps that is bigger, better trained, and deployable. Visit Web site