The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) strategic plan lays out the department’s priorities through 2022
Traditionally, the HHS strategic plan has focused on ensuring access to health care. But the 2018-2022 plan focuses on protecting the ability of employers and health care providers to deny patients health care services based on their personal beliefs. It also describes life as beginning at conception and eliminates all mentions of health disparities faced by LGBTQ people. The plan was led by Senior Policy Advisor Valerie Huber, a staunch anti-abortion advocate.
The four-year plan borrows language from the anti-abortion movement, signaling that the administration intends to roll back access to safe, legal abortion as well as birth control.Bustle
Health Secretary Alex Azar explicitly defended the decision for HHS to define life as beginning at conception, arguing "The mission of HHS is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, and this includes the unborn."TIME Magazine
The administration stripped all mentions of LGBTQ health from the four-year plan. The erasure suggests that helping LGBTQ access health care isn’t a priority for the administration.Human Rights Campaign
HHS runs health coverage (including Medicaid and Medicare) for nearly 38% of the population, oversees health coverage for another 16% (through Marketplace exchanges), and impacts access to care for millions of people who rely on public health programs (like Title X) — the majority of whom are women.
U.S. Census Bureau
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2017
This affects everyone who needs health care — especially those who depend on HHS programs
How you get your health care in the United States depends on what HHS prioritizes. The millions of people who rely on Medicaid, Title X, and other federal health programs stand to lose the most from this four-year plan.
The argument that life begins at conception... could now form the basis of a new wave of attacks against publicly funded family planning services.”
Guttmacher Institute Senior Policy Manager