Xavier Becerra, nominated for the post of Secretary of Health, said during his confirmation hearing that his top priority would be to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in order to improve the country’s health care, if confirmed by the Senate.
For example, he said, you need to reopen the website Healthcare.gov so that people can enroll in a health plan during the pandemic, something that the administration of President Joe Biden has already done, and make subsidies from the health insurance market more generous, he reported The Washington Post.
Becerra also said that the decision to reopen the schools is a decision of the states.
“Schools and education are local issues,” Becerra said. “The federal government is a partner. We should not be the ones who make the final decisions about how and when schools should reopen. “
Becerra appeared before the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee as part of its confirmation process, which promises to be tense and full of reproaches from Republicans against whom as California attorney general fought the environmental policies and other directives of the former president’s government. Donald Trump.
On Wednesday Becerra must appear before the Finance Committee, which will vote if he sends his candidacy to the full Senate.
If approved, Becerra will be the first Latino to lead the Secretary of Health and Human Services, as the country grapples with a pandemic that has wreaked havoc among minority communities, such as blacks and Hispanics.
Monitor the response to coronavirus it will be possibly the most difficult task that Becerra has faced so far in his public career.
Becera was a Democratic congressman for Los Angeles from 1993 to 2017 and later California attorney general, a position from which he sued the federal government 122 times for policies ranging from immigration to defense of the environment and, above all, the defense of Obamacare.
As a representative, Becerra voted for Obamacare and as California attorney general defended it from the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn it.
Becerra’s nomination faces strong opposition from Republican senators who see him as a radical supporter of socialist medicine, abortion and restrictions on religious freedom.
Reviews range from his lack of experience in health matters, the endorsement he gave to the measures of California Governor Gavin Newsom and his political positions which – according to Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota – place him on the “extreme left.”
On Monday, Republican Senators John Kennedy of Louisiana and Tom Cotton of Arkanssas asked Biden to withdraw Becerra’s nomination, calling him “unfit for any position of public trust.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, meanwhile, has called him “famous” for his partisan positions.
The obstacles Xavier Becerra faces to be confirmed as leader of the US Department of Health