This morning, President-elect Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA) as his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Health care experts from around the country praised the president-elect’s decision, highlighting Attorney General Becerra’s expensive health care policy record and defense of the Affordable Care Act in California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit that would rip coverage from more than 20 million Americans and end protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. 

WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:

Leslie Dach, Protect Our Care Chair and Former Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services: “President-elect Biden has selected a true health care champion in Attorney General Xavier Becerra. As a 12-term member of Congress, he was a leader in the fight to pass the Affordable Care Act, and as California’s AG, he is leading the states that are challenging the disastrous Trump-Republican lawsuit to terminate the law…Protect Our Care has seen first hand Attorney General Becerra’s leadership defending the ACA in court to make sure Americans can get the care they need. He is a passionate and effective fighter for quality, affordable health care and is an ideal pick to lead HHS.” [Protect Our Care, 12/6/20]

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.” [Sylvia Burwell Twitter, 12/6/20]

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Dr. Anthony Fauci praises picks for @JoeBiden’s health team: ‘I worked with all of them before. They’re excellent choices. I mean, all of them. … I’ve had considerable interactions with all of these individuals, and they’re outstanding.’ (1/2) Fauci says HHS pick @AGBecerra has ‘been in the Congress for a considerable period of time’ and is a ‘very experienced person.’ CDC pick @RWalensky ‘has been a colleague of mine.’ And as for Surgeon General pick @vivek_murthy, ‘I’ve been working with [him] for years.’ (2/2)” [Quint Forgey Twitter, 12/7/20]

Andy Slavitt, Former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “NEW: As HHS, @AGBecerra who will become Secretary, is probably the singular top champion of the ACA. As opposed to the current guy, who, uh, isn’t.” [Andy Slavitt Twitter, 12/6/20

Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation: “KFF congratulates our Attorney General Xavier Becerra on the news of his appointment. We are proud to have the AG from our home state who has been such a leader on health care take the helm at HHS and we look forward to a productive working relationship.” [Drew Altman Twitter, 12/7/20]

Dr. Ada D. Stewart, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians: “But in an interview on Sunday night, Dr. Ada D. Stewart, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, one of the groups that sent the letter, described Mr. Becerra as ‘a good choice’ and ‘an experienced legislator and executive…We’ve already seen his commitment to health and equity, and those things can’t be overlooked,’ she said.” [New York Times, 12/6/20]

Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California: “Xavier Becerra is an exciting and experienced selection to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services…His track record shows he will work to not just undo the damage of the last four years, but to have a pro-active plan to deal with the pandemic and to pursue patient protections and needed reforms going forward.” [Washington Post, 12/7/20

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.” [Larry Leavitt Twitter, 12/6/20]

Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU: “.@SEIU members have been fortunate to work with @XavierBecerra over the years to strengthen our home care workforce, defend Medicaid and protect immigrant families. He is an outstanding addition to the already-strong team @JoeBiden is building. @XavierBecerra knows that having healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege, and that healthcare providers need to have their voices heard. Thrilled that he will be our next HHS Secretary.” [Mary Kay Henry Tweet, 12/6/20]

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.” [Topher Spiro Twitter, 12/6/20

Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California: “Peter Lee, who heads California’s insurance marketplace, Covered California, lauded Becerra’s work in Congress and as attorney general to defend access to affordable medical care. ‘It’s a great choice,’ Lee said. ‘He is a thoughtful, strategic leader who gets the importance of not only expanding healthcare coverage, but also addressing high costs for patients.’” [Los Angeles Times, 12/6/20

Mara Rudman, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress “Having managed the nation’s largest state justice department and having been a longtime champion for expanding access to health care, Becerra brings the experience needed to do the job—experience that is sorely lacking as the nation contends with the greatest public health crisis in generations. He has also led the current legal fights to protect the Affordable Care Act and Title X, making him an excellent pick to reverse President Donald Trump’s health care sabotage.” [Center For American Progress, 12/7/20

Matthew Cortland, Lawyer and Health Care Advocate:.@XavierBecerra is a good choice to lead HHS in this moment. We need someone with executive management experience. And, with the GOP death cult still wielding power, someone who understands the legal tools at the executive’s disposal. Becerra covers both bases.” [Matthew Cortland Tweet, 12/6/20]