For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2021

NHPCO Applauds Confirmation of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of HHS

(Alexandria, Va) – The United States Senate voted today to confirm California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“We applaud the U.S. Senate confirmation of Secretary Xavier Becerra, and we look forward to working with the Secretary to ensure equitable access to hospice and palliative care,” said National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) President and CEO Edo Banach. “Secretary Becerra’s commitment during his confirmation hearing to expanding care for those facing serious and life-limiting illness demonstrates real leadership on a timely and critical issue.”

At the Secretary’s confirmation hearing, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse indicated his support for end-of-life care, saying, “That will show that when you treat people at the end of their lives with more humanity, everybody’s happier and it saves money.” He then asked Becerra “Will you work with me on that?” Becerra responded, “As someone who had his father live with him the last three years of his life, so that when he passed, he passed in his bed in my home, absolutely, I look forward to working with you on that.”

The exchange between Senator Whitehouse and Secretary Becerra is available on Senator Whitehouse’s website, beginning at time index 4:03.

NHPCO and dozens of industry organizations urged the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to launch a community-based palliative care demonstration. The letter cited the potential impact of delivering needed palliative care in the home which would mitigate the spread of disease in our communities and promote health equity among our most vulnerable populations.


Jon Radulovic
Ph: 571-412-3973