health law: an overview
Broadly defined, health law includes the law of public health, health care generally, and medical care specifically. Preserving public health is a primary duty of the state. Health regulations and laws are therefore almost all administered at the state level. Many states delegate authority to subordinate govermental agencies such as boards of health. These boards are created by legislative acts.
Federal health law focuses on the activity of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It administers a wide variety of agencies and programs, like providing financial assistance to needy individuals; conducting medical and scientific research; providing health care and advocacy services; and enforcing laws and regulations related to human services. An important part of the HHS are the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversee the Medicare and Medicaid Programs. Their goal is to ensure that elderly and needy individuals receive proper medical care.