Meet the New HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra

Xavier Becerra has been confirmed as the 25th United States secretary of health and human services beginning on March 19, 2021. Becerra previously served as the attorney general of California. The vote was 50-49 with one Republican vote in support. Defenders of Becerra’s experience for the position pointed to his leading 20 states and DC in protection of ACA from being dismantled the past four years.

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.

AMA: Becerra confirmation is welcome news as health challenges await

Susan R. Bailey, MD, President, American Medical Association
“The American Medical Association welcomes Senate confirmation of Xavier Becerra to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services. His leadership will be tested early as he arrives amid a pandemic and challenges to the Affordable Care Act. The AMA believes he is the right person for the job and looks forward to working with him to ensure that all Americans have access to quality health care during this perilous time.”

AHA statement on the nomination of Xavier Becerra as HHS secretary

Rick Pollack, President and CEO
December 7, 2020: America’s hospitals and health systems applaud the nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be the next Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. As California Attorney General, he has led the effort to protect the Affordable Care Act and its important protections and coverage for patients. We have also worked with him as a longtime former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, including as a member of the Ways and Means Committee’s health subcommittee. He has been a champion for affordable health access and coverage, which the AHA has supported, and he has consistently made people across America and their health a priority.

There are many critical priorities facing the health care field right now, and the patients and communities we care for. Nothing is more critical than the COVID-19 pandemic, and making sure hospitals, health systems and our heroic frontline caregivers have the resources and support they need to care for patients and win the battle against the virus. We also need to make important progress on advancing the transformation of health care, ensuring access to coverage, making health care equitable to all people in America and enhancing the quality of care.

The AHA looks forward to working closely with Xavier Becerra and the department to achieve our mutual mission of advancing the health of the patients and communities we are privileged to serve.

Statement from WEDI on Becerra confirmation

Charles Stellar, WEDI President and CEO
WEDI, as the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve health care information exchange, extends our congratulations to Xavier Becerra on becoming the 25th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Secretary Becerra will now oversee the response to the COVID-19 pandemic while executing other aspects of the Administration’s healthcare agenda, including the important task of tackling health equity issues. At the same time, we urge the Secretary to maintain the focus on reducing the administrative burden and cost plaguing healthcare. Implementing effective solutions that improve data interoperability, automate payer-provider information exchange, and maintain the confidentiality of patient records must all be priorities for the new HHS Secretary. Attaining our shared vision of a cost-effective and secure healthcare system can only be achieved through collective action and strong public-private partnerships.

American Telemedicine Association Congratulates New HHS Secretary Becerra
“The ATA congratulates Secretary Becerra on his confirmation, at a time when our healthcare system – and patients in urban and rural communities, underserved populations and our most vulnerable citizens – need steady leadership, a clear vision and an innovative approach to curing what ails healthcare today,” said Ann Mond Johnson, CEO, the ATA. “There are many challenges ahead in creating more equitable, accessible and efficient care but we, like Secretary Becerra, believe that telehealth and virtual care services can offer critical solutions to deliver care whenever and wherever needed. We also support the expansion of broadband access to help close the ‘digital divide’ to address the inequities that currently exist in healthcare. The ATA remains available to work with Secretary Becerra, the Biden Administration and members of Congress to ensure that telehealth becomes a permanent treatment option for the millions of Americans who now rely on it for their care.”

NARAL Applauds the Confirmation of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services
“We are pleased that the Senate voted to confirm Xavier Becerra—a true champion for healthcare and reproductive freedom. Having spent his career in public office fighting for dignity and justice, we know that Secretary Becerra is a compassionate leader who will put Americans’ health and well-being first. We congratulate Secretary Becerra on his confirmation and look forward to working with the Department of Health and Human Services—and the entire Biden-Harris Administration—to advance reproductive freedom and ensure all people can access the care they need.”