Stories

Half of HHS would stop working during a shutdown

A government shutdown would freeze health care programs. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Half of the Department of Health and Human Services workforce — more than 40,000 people — would be told not to come to work in the event of a shutdown, according to the department’s planning documents.

Why it matters: The federal workforce isn’t just paper-pushers in Washington. A shutdown would freeze several major health care programs, including food safety inspections and monitoring flu outbreaks across the country.