In addition to creating state-level health insurance agencies, the new health reform law includes a series of authorities and responsibilities for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Specifically, the Secretary has the authority to:
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- Implement provisions to help families and small business owners have the information they need to make the choices that work best for them
- Work with states and other partners to strengthen key public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare and implement reforms to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare
- Coordinate with other Departments, develop and implement a prevention and health promotion strategy and work to ensure more Americans have access to critical preventive health services
- Strengthen existing programs that help support the primary care workforce
- Promote transparency and ensure that every dollar is spent wisely and well
- Implement provisions to help make medications more affordable
- Establish the CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act) program
- Implement the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act
HHS will also conduct regular, national worksite surveys to assess employer-based policies and programs and report to Congress and the public with recommendations on how to improve them.
Starting in 2014, the U.S. Department of Treasury (IRS) will function as the government's chief enforcer for healthcare reform, monitoring both businesses and individuals to certify that they have the insurance coverage the government requires.