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Historical Highlights
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)serves as the nations principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans, and providing essential human services. HHS has enjoyed many highlights since becoming a separate agency, while its roots go back as far as the early days of our nation.
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The Affordable Care Act was signed into law, putting in place comprehensive U.S. health insurance reforms.
The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 was enacted; the most significant expansion of Medicare since its enactment, including a prescription drug benefit.
Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness was created to coordinate efforts
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In 1979, the Department of Education Organization Act was signed into law, providing for a separate Department of Education. HEW became the Department of Health and Human Services, officially arriving on May 4, 1980. Some highlight dates in HEW and HHS history:
Communicable Disease Center was established, forerunner of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Federal Security Agency was created, bringing together related federal activities in the fields of health, education and social insurance.
The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed.
The Social Security Act was passed.
The National Institute (late Institutes) of Health was created out of the Public Health Service's Hygienic Laboratory.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs Health Division was created, forerunner to the Indian Health Service.
President Theodore Roosevelt's first White House Conference urged creation of the Children's Bureau to combat exploitation of children.
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The Pure Food and Drugs Act was passed, authorizing the government to monitor the purity of foods and the safety of medicines, now a responsibility of the FDA.
Conversion of the Marine Hospital Service into the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service in recognition of its expanding activities in the field of public health. In 1912, the name was shortened
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