One in Three HHS Appointees Exit for Industry Jobs

One-third of political appointees to HHS between 2004 and 2020 later exited to work for the private sector, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs.

Based on an analysis of employment histories for 766 appointees, the researchers found that more than half of appointees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CMS and the Office of the Deputy Secretary at HHS went straight to private industry after their government employment.

Meanwhile, about 15% of people appointed to HHS during the study period were employed in the private sector immediately before joining the government. A greater share of people appointed by a Republican president came from the industry compared with a Democratic president, yet net rates of exit to industry remained similar.

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Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong has been producing infographics and data stories on employer-sponsored insurance, public health insurance programs and prescription drug coverage for AIS Health’s Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits since 2018. She also manages AIS Health’s annual executive compensation database for top insurers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates. Before joining AIS Health, she interned at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting.

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