March 23, 2021
Xavier Becerra Confirmed as HHS Secretary
On Thursday, March 18, the Senate confirmed Xavier Becerra as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Becerra served as the California Attorney General and previously, U.S Representative from California for 24 years. During his tenure in Congress, then-Congressman Becerra worked with ASA to advance a fix to the anesthesia teaching rule, which directed $500 million over 10 years to anesthesiology residency programs.
Becerra won approval with a 50-49 margin in a Senate evenly split by party. He is succeeding HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Becerra will be the first Latino to hold this position and during the confirmation process highlighted his upbringing as well as the recent loss of his father as he gears up to face the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As HHS Secretary, he will oversee all the federal health agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Food and Drug Administration. Becerra will play a major role in not only the Biden Administration’s COVID relief efforts but also their work on health care reform. ASA congratulates Xavier Becerra on his confirmation and looks forward to working with him to continue efforts to improve our health care system and protect patient safety.