Biden Picks Xavier Becerra for HHS Secretary

Posted on Categories General

Becerra checks many boxes as a Latino, champion of the ACA, and having served on the House W&Ms Committee, but running a $1 trillion agency with 80,000+ employees is a vastly different role. Bacerra currently serves as Attorney General for California, where he leads the 20 blue state effort to defend the ACA in CA v. TX which is pending before the Supreme Court. He served 12 terms (25) years in Congress, where he served on the health and tax centric Ways & Means Committee and headed the Democratic caucus, roles where he had an outsized role in setting the agenda. In contrast, the HHS Secretary must answer to a wide array of stakeholders, including the White House, Congress, beneficiaries, industry, and the thousands of pages of statute governing the running of Medicare and Medicaid. On top of this, HHS leads the nation’s response to the covid pandemic. While Bacerra could very well be up to the job, there’s a reason Presidents often turn to governors with executive and management experience for the job. Recall Trump’s first HHS pick – House member and physician Tom Price – basically did his own thing and ultimately was forced to resign over a travel and spending scandal.

See full article and chart.