BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (December 8, 2020)—President-elect Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate Xavier Becerra, currently serving as attorney general of California, as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Becerra is well-known for his defense of the Affordable Care Act. Health care industry leaders praised the nomination on Twitter and in the news. Here’s what some of them had to say.
Bill Dombi, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice:
The likely nomination of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services is welcomed by the home care and hospice community. In his years in Congress, he showed a strong understanding and appreciation of the value of homecare and hospice that we would expect would guide HHS in the coming years. We at NAHC very much look forward to working with him and his team. [Statement to HomeCare]
American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living:
AHCA/NCAL extends our congratulations to Attorney General Xavier Becerra for his nomination to serve as HHS Secretary under President-elect Biden’s Administration. We have valued our conversations with him when he served in Congress and now as attorney general of California, and we look forward to an open dialogue in his new role, once confirmed.
Given the tremendous tragedy and challenges our profession have faced this year, we hope to work with Attorney General Becerra on ensuring that long term care is regarded as a pivotal part of our health care system and prioritized for ongoing resources in order to battle COVID-19. When we get through this, we hope to have a national discussion with HHS and other stakeholders about how we can learn from this experience and properly support long term care facilities as we prepare for a rapidly growing elderly population. [Statement to HomeCare]
Sylvia Burwell, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services:
“As a former HHS Secretary, I’m excited by the choice of @AGBecerra to lead the department at this critical time. I had the opportunity to work with Xavier when he was in the Congressional leadership. His understanding of key relationships on Capitol Hill & focus on high quality execution will be invaluable as the @JoeBiden administration addresses the #COVID19 pandemic. Xavier knows the ‘kitchen table’ issues that are at the heart of HHS & his leadership will make a difference in the lives of Americans.” [Twitter]
Larry Levitt, Vice President for Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation:
“In Xavier Becerra, President-Elect Biden has selected a person who has been perhaps the biggest thorn in President Trump’s side on the ACA, reproductive health, and immigrant rights. If confirmed, he will have an opportunity to overturn much of what Trump has done.” [Twitter]
Topher Spiro, Senior Fellow and Vice President for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress:
“Xavier Becerra was laser-focused on protecting your health care. I know this because his team reached out many times. He is the right person to protect and expand health care at HHS.” [Twitter]
Rick Pollack, President of the American Hospital Association:
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. [Fierce Healthcare]
Matt Eyles, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) CEO:
We congratulate Attorney General Becerra for his nomination to lead HHS and look forward to working with the entire diverse, experienced and accomplished group of leaders nominated to and announced for key positions. These leaders will face several critical national priorities, including overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, improving health equity, advancing health care affordability and access, improving quality of care, and ensuring the stability of markets. [Fierce Healthcare]
Updated Dec. 9, 2020 at 8:20 a.m. to include quote from AHCA.