Becerra Sheds Light On Biden Administration’s Health Goals
Xavier Becerra, who is expected to lead the Health and Human Services Department in the new administration, gave his first live interview Thursday since being tapped for the role.
'Cautiously Optimistic' On Obamacare Lawsuit, Becerra To Focus On Health Disparities At HHS
President-elect Joe Biden's designated health secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday that he's "cautiously" optimistic the Supreme Court justices will preserve Obamacare when they decide the high-stakes lawsuit challenging the law that's backed by President Donald Trump. “My sense is, if you keep your fingers crossed, the incoming Secretary of Health and Human Services will have a good law to work with to continue to expand health care to all Americans,” said Becerra, who as California's attorney general played a key role in that suit. (Luthi, 12/17)
In related news about President-elect Joe Biden's transition —
Democrats Ask Of Biden’s Health Team: Who’s In Charge?
President-elect Joe Biden vowed to assemble a world-class team capable of ending the pandemic and securing sweeping health care gains. But in the days since he rolled out his health leadership, Democrats have been occupied by a simpler challenge: figuring out who among Biden’s health team is actually in charge. (Cancryn, 12/17)
The Washington Post:
Biden Will Arrive In Office Amid A Pandemic. It Will Be His Biggest Challenge — But Also An Opportunity.
As President-elect Joe Biden and his team devise a governing strategy to defeat the coronavirus pandemic — the incoming administration’s most urgent priority — they have become centrally focused on instilling broad, bipartisan faith in vaccines. ... Health policy experts say Biden’s capacity to mold bipartisan receptivity to being vaccinated has implications for his broader agenda to expand health coverage and access to affordable care. “If you can’t do this one, you are not going to be able to get buy-in on universal coverage,” said Robert J. Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard University who studies public opinion about health care. (Goldstein, 12/15)
The New York Times:
This Is The Health System That Biden Inherits From Trump
President-elect Joe Biden will inherit a health system that is trying to care for a population made sicker by both coronavirus and skipped preventive care, all while trying to make up for money lost in 2020.But he’ll face another immediate challenge: Hospitals that tend to care for the poor and the vulnerable are facing major financial pressure, while wealthier hospital systems expect to emerge slightly bruised but not broken. (Kliff, 12/16)
Trump Fights For A Job That He's Not Doing As Coronavirus Rages
When the history of the pandemic is written, one of the great mysteries will be what President Donald Trump was doing in the waning days of his presidency as the number of Covid-19 deaths in the US soared past 3,000 each day, the virus spread unchecked and Congress dithered over the details of an emergency relief package that could be the difference between people being able to eat and being forced to sleep on the streets this holiday season. (Reston, 12/18)