Washington, DC – The National Health Law Program is thrilled that President-elect Joe Biden has named Xavier Becerra to serve as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As long-time advocates, we have valued our partnership with AG Becerra and we look forward to working with him and the team at HHS to advance health rights and equity.
Xavier Becerra is a tireless advocate and a fitting nominee to lead HHS. Attorney General Becerra has taken on threats to health care with vision and courage as both a Member of Congress and as Attorney General of California. Throughout his career, he has championed access to health care for those who need it most: low-income individuals, people with disabilities, children, women, people of color, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ-GNC community.
As a Member of Congress, Becerra sponsored and supported the Affordable Care Act, and as Attorney General of California, he has led the state lawsuit resisting the latest effort to have the federal courts strike down the law. He has sued to block multiple federal regulations and policies that would encourage discrimination in health care delivery – especially against women, LGBTQ individuals, and those seeking reproductive health care.
He has also led the opposition to the Trump administration’s war on immigrants, including regressive changes to “public charge” and forced separation of families at the US-Mexican border. As the son of Mexican immigrants, Becerra’s nomination to lead HHS is an essential rebuttal of the xenophobic policies that have marked his predecessors’ tenure under the Trump presidency.
There is much work to do – both to turn back the harmful policies of the last four years and to build a more robust and equitable health care system. Xavier Becerra will energetically face those challenges. As an organization with deep roots in California, we will miss his leadership in Sacramento, but we look forward to working with him and his team at HHS.