Becerra Defends Experience, Testifies On Insurance Access, Health Costs
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra faces a second committee hearing today for his nomination as Department of Health and Human Services secretary. Stat also reports on a fresh line of attack from Republicans: that Becerra is not sympathetic enough to the pharmaceutical industry.
Biden Health Nominee Faces First Senate Test
President Biden’s nominee to lead the massive federal health agency faced his first hearing in the Senate on Tuesday, with some Republicans indicating he doesn’t have the experience necessary for the job but others appearing to leave the door open to supporting him. (Hellmann, 2/23)
Becerra Supports Access To Care, Provider Funding During Confirmation Hearing
HHS secretary nominee Xavier Becerra on Tuesday threw his support behind efforts to improve access to care, aligning himself with President Joe Biden's healthcare agenda. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the current California attorney general focused on issues affecting the healthcare industry, including coverage expansion, access to care and provider funding. He is also slated to appear before the full Senate and Senate finance committee on Wednesday. (Brady, 2/23)
Video: Becerra Touts Health Care Record As GOP Targets Nomination
President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, appeared Tuesday for his first of two Senate confirmation hearings. He started with the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Watch CQ Roll Call health care reporter Mary Ellen McIntire break down how Becerra presented his background, and where Republican senators may not see common ground. (McIntire and McKinless, 2/23)
Republicans’ New Becerra Attack: He’s Not Sympathetic Enough To Pharma
Republican senators on Tuesday blasted President Biden’s health secretary nominee using an unexpected argument: He’s not sympathetic enough to the pharmaceutical industry. The attack on Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, is a surprising twist following years of agitation on Capitol Hill and from the Trump administration over high drug prices. But it also highlights the credibility that pharmaceutical companies may have earned after developing several Covid-19 vaccines in record time, and the challenge Becerra could face in balancing pricing frustrations with the industry’s central role in pandemic response. (Facher, 2/23)
Pressed On School Reopening, Becerra Says It's A 'Local Issue'
Xavier Becerra, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of Health and Human Services, said Tuesday when pressed about school reopenings that they are a "local issue," declining to answer a specific question about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. (Sullivan, 2/23)
‘It’s A Minefield’: Biden Health Pick Must Tread Carefully On Abortion And Family Planning
As President Joe Biden works to overhaul U.S. health care policy, few challenges loom larger for his health secretary than restoring access to family planning while parrying legal challenges to abortion proliferating across the country. Physicians, clinics and women’s health advocates are looking to Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, to help swiftly unwind Trump-era funding cuts and rules that decimated the nation’s network of reproductive health providers over the past four years. (Levey and Bluth, 2/24)