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Andrea Palm

HHS Deputy Secretary

Andrea Palm has federal leadership experience stemming from previous roles within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Palm was a member of the White House Domestic Policy Council under the Obama administration and served as senior health policy advisor to former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Palm most recently served as Secretary-Designee for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. While Palm has rarely spoken publicly about her stances on human rights issues, Palm has demonstrated openness towards reproductive rights and condemned the Trump administration’s attacks on healthcare access for LGBTQ people.

Palm Was Confirmed By The Senate And Sworn In As HHS Deputy Secretary On May 12, 2021

Palm Was Confirmed By The Senate And Sworn In As Deputy Secretary On May 12, 2021. “Today, following a bipartisan confirmation by the U.S. Senate, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra formally swore in Andrea Palm as Deputy Secretary. Palm previously served as the Secretary-designee of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services and in several leadership roles at HHS during the Obama-Biden Administration.” [U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services, 5/12/21]

Andrea Palm Was Reported As A Nominee For Deputy Secretary Of HHS On January 18, 2021

AP News Reported Palm Was Nominated As Deputy Secretary Of HHS On January 18, 2021. “Wisconsin’s top health official, who has led the state throughout the coronavirus pandemic, is leaving for a job with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President-elect Joe Biden. Andrea Palm, secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, has been nominated as deputy secretary of the federal agency…Palm’s last day at the Wisconsin agency is Wednesday.” [AP News, 1/18/21

Wisconsin State Journal Reported Palm Will Become Biden’s Second Highest-Ranking Health Official Within HHS. “On Monday, Gov. Tony Evers announced Andrea Palm’s departure from the Department of Health Services to take on the role of deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — effectively becoming Biden’s No. 2 health official.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 1/19/21

POLITICO Reported Palm May Play A Considerable Role In Implementing Biden’s Health Agenda Under Xavier Becerra. “Biden’s selection of Andrea Palm for the No. 2 job at HHS is aimed at aiding an incoming administration with a lengthy agenda and a need to show results fast. Palm — a Wisconsin state health official who previously held several senior positions in the Obama HHS — already knows the department well, putting her in a prime position to manage its day-to-day operations. And after spending the last two years navigating Wisconsin’s tricky political landscape, tangling with a GOP legislature that refused to confirm her and fought aspects of the state’s Covid-19 response — making her a target of anti-lockdown protests and lawsuits — she’s unlikely to be jarred by the deep divides in Washington… The choice signals that while Becerra — a longtime politician — may be the one called upon to sell the Biden health agenda to the American public, much of the behind-the-scenes work of writing and implementing that agenda will hinge on Palm’s management of the policymaking process across the sprawling department.” [POLITICO, 1/19/21

Palm Demonstrated Openness Towards Reproductive Rights

Palm Hired Former Planned Parenthood Of Wisconsin Vice President To Wisconsin’s Department Of Health Services, Despite Pushback From Some Wisconsin Anti-Abortion Lawmakers In 2019. “Senate panel is backing the confirmation of Gov. Tony Evers' leader of the Department of Health Services despite strong objection from anti-abortion groups and some conservative Republicans months ago. Andrea Palm, who has overseen the state's health agency since January, will now go before the full Senate to be confirmed as the department's permanent leader. All but one member of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services voted Wednesday to confirm Palm, saying she was highly qualified for the job despite some philosophical differences they have with a top deputy in the agency who previously worked for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. It was Palm's hiring of Nicole Safar, a former vice president at Planned Parenthood, that has drawn criticism from anti-abortion groups and lawmakers and threw Palm's confirmation into jeopardy.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/21/19

Palm Received Pushback From Anti-Choice Lawmakers Attempting To Close Planned Parenthood Clinics During A Wisconsin COVID-19 Stay At Home Executive Order. “Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which offers abortions at only three of its two dozen clinics across the state (Madison, Milwaukee and Sheboygan), posted on its Facebook page last week that its sites remain open. Its clinics provide a variety of services to patients such as birth control access, cancer screenings, STD treatments and more. Republican lawmakers in their letter to Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm called for closing the operations during the length of [Wisconsin governor] Evers' order…Palm, who has led the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic, has previously drawn scrutiny from some over her decision to select a former Planned Parenthood lobbyist as her assistant deputy secretary.” [The Capital Times, 4/2/20


Palm Signaled Support For Protecting Healthcare Access For LGBTQ Communities

Palm Publicly Praised Wisconsin’s Attorney General For Joining A Lawsuit To Fight The Trump Administration’s Attacks On Healthcare Access For LGBTQ Communities. “Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is suing the Trump administration to stop a rule change that would allow healthcare providers and insurance companies to discriminate against LGBTQ and non-English speaking individuals as well as women. Kaul joins a 23-state coalition filing suit today against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HHS Secretary Alex Azar and head of HHS Office of Civil Rights Roger Severino…Gov. Tony Evers authorized joining the lawsuit and several of his cabinet members praised the move by Kaul. ‘The Department of Health Services is committed to protecting and promoting the health of all Wisconsinites,’ said Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. ‘Undermining the anti-discrimination protections provided in the Affordable Care Act would put the health and well-being of many Wisconsinites at risk and we must do everything we can to preserve the integrity of those protections.’” [Wisconsin Examiner, 7/20/20


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