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T and R, LD and JD!! 🙂 What are you two up to for Christmas?


On Mon­day, Cal­i­for­nia Attor­ney Gen­er­al Xavier Becer­ra was nom­i­nat­ed to serve as Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden’s Sec­re­tary of Health and Human Ser­vices (HHS), the fed­er­al agency that over­sees health­care and many immi­gra­tion pro­grams. Unlike oth­er nom­i­nees or poten­tial can­di­dates such as Rahm Emanuel, Bruce Reed and Neera Tanden who have been met with out­rage from the Left, the response to Becerra’s announce­ment has large­ly been pleas­ant surprise.

Rep. Ro Khan­na (D‑Calif.) tweet­ed, ​“He is a strong choice and has always worked well with pro­gres­sives.” Zephyr Tea­chout, a for­mer cam­paign sur­ro­gate for Bernie Sanders, gushed ​“I am gen­uine­ly excit­ed about the Becer­ra choice.” As a long­time sup­port­er of a sin­gle-pay­er sys­tem whose AG tenure has focused dogged­ly on health­care, Becer­ra may well be poised to use a pow­er­ful fed­er­al post to secure key pro­gres­sive gains.

Becerra’s high­est-pro­file act as AG has been to defend the Afford­able Care Act against a spu­ri­ous right-wing law­suit, which would seem to fit well into Biden’s pro­fessed goal of defend­ing the ACA. It’s also easy to imag­ine HHS revers­ing sev­er­al of the Trump administration’s moves to weak­en the land­mark health law, which includ­ed trun­cat­ing the open enroll­ment peri­od, defund­ing nav­i­ga­tor pro­grams and adver­tis­ing, and expand­ing the sale of flim­sy short-term plans that skirt basic cov­er­age requirements.

But it’s also easy to imag­ine ways in which HHS could go beyond straight­for­ward ACA fix­es under Becerra’s lead­er­ship. He sup­port­ed sin­gle-pay­er health­care leg­is­la­tion both as a mem­ber of the Cal­i­for­nia State Assem­bly in the 1990s, as well as in Con­gress, where he co-spon­sored Medicare for All bills in the House. Even after being tapped to replace Sen­a­tor-elect Kamala Har­ris as California’s AG in 2017, Becer­ra reit­er­at­ed his sup­port for pub­lic financ­ing of the health­care sys­tem, argu­ing that sin­gle-pay­er ​“takes away the inef­fi­cien­cies in a sys­tem that has turned health­care for peo­ple into a commodity.”

While he’s report­ed­ly assured his future boss he won’t be push­ing for Medicare for All in office, his appoint­ment could nonethe­less be a boon for state-lev­el advo­ca­cy: Biden’s team has pre­vi­ous­ly indi­cat­ed open­ness to issu­ing waivers to allow states to real­lo­cate fed­er­al health­care fund­ing into a sin­gle-pay­er pro­gram — a process Becer­ra would be in charge of. As one of the strongest state-lev­el push­es for such an over­haul is tak­ing place now in Cal­i­for­nia, it’s hard to see Becer­ra reject­ing nec­es­sary waiv­er appli­ca­tions from his own state.

It’s not just that he’s unlike­ly to obstruct state sin­gle-pay­er pro­grams. Becer­ra has also demon­strat­ed a will­ing­ness to use state pow­er to con­front the health­care indus­try — a rel­a­tive­ly low bar that many Democ­rats nonethe­less fail to clear.


On cue. Senior executive at a pharmaceutical is just the right credentials for Republicans.

President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is running into early opposition from Senate Republicans.

GOP lawmakers are raising concerns about Becerra’s lack of professional experience in the health care sector, although he did sit on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has oversight of health issues, when he served in the House.

Another red flag for Republicans is Becerra’s aggressive resistance to Trump administration policies as the attorney general of California.

Becerra participated in nearly 100 lawsuits challenging the Trump administration and was recently dubbed “California’s anti-Trump attack dog” by The New York Times.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an adviser to the Senate GOP leadership, questioned his lack of direct professional experience in the health care field.

“I think it would be controversial,” he said of Becerra’s nomination. “I think most of us feel like there should be some deference in the president-elect’s choice for his Cabinet, but some of these folks are pretty radical.”

Asked if he saw Becerra as radical, Cornyn replied: “Yeah.”

“I don’t know what his Health and Human Services credentials are. It’s not like [Health and Human Services Secretary] Alex Azar, who worked for pharma and had a health care background,” he added. Azar was a senior executive for the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and also served as HHS general counsel in the George W. Bush administration.


“acting” head.


Asked if he saw Becerra as radical, Cornyn replied: “Yeah.”

Leading question with predictable response. Fox calls Biden a radical leftist for crap’s sake.


becerra is a first class choice for HHS.

No wonder there is pushback.


I’ve said this before, but I’ll repeat it. It is a shame that Beto O’Rourke did not run against this crooked yahoo. Cornyn is the TX twin of Robbing Rubio.


I clicked on your article to see who the author was – Natalie Shure, one of the good ones.

a rel­a­tive­ly low bar that many Democ­rats nonethe­less fail to clear