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Xavier Becerra, Champion of the Affordable Care Act, Should be Confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services

February 19, 2021

Xavier Becerra, the ACA’s defender-in-chief, is nominated to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and his confirmation hearings begin next week.

For the past four years, Americans watched the Trump administration  attack the ACA — even amidst a national public health emergency. Congress now must confirm a health care champion as Secretary of HHS.

The ACA is a lifeline for the nearly 1 in 2 Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions, including those who previously received life-altering bills when exceeding caps on insurance plans. Over 1.1 million depend on the ACA for health coverage, which will increase as the pandemic leaves nearly 20 million Americans unemployed and needing coverage available on the ACA marketplace. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic downturn, Americans need access to affordable health care now more than ever.

A co-sponsor of the Affordable Care Act, Becerra has a strong record of defending against attempts to repeal the ACA — as California Attorney General, leading a coalition of over twenty state attorneys general to protect health care from  efforts to repeal it in the ongoing California v. Texas lawsuit in the Supreme Court.

Building on Xavier Becerra’s experience working on the front lines of health care policy is vital for Pennsylvanians who rely on the ACA.

The Supreme Court will announce its decision as early as this spring. If repealed, we will need a champion like Xavier Becerra at the helm of the Department of Health and Human Services to manage the impacts — fallouts that will only be heightened in the current pandemic environment.

The Senate should work quickly to confirm Xavier Becerra as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services, and partner with the Biden administration on policies that will improve the health of Pennsylvanians and people throughout the country.