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HHS Nominee Xavier Becerra Commits to Working on End-of-Life Care Pilot

Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 24, 2021.

During this week’s confirmation hearings, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra said that he looks forward to working on an end-of-life care pilot designed to improve patient and family satisfaction while reducing costs.

During the hearing, held by the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) shared that improving end-of-life care has long been a personal issue for him. He highlighted the need to make sure that a person’s choices are respected at the end of life. Sen. Whitehouse also underscored the need to allow patients to remain at home and ensure that they are not dying in intensive care units if they do not wish to be there.

Sen. Whitehouse asked Becerra if they could work together on a pilot project, through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), “that will show, when you treat people at the end of their lives with more humanity, everybody’s happier and it saves money.”

“As someone who had his father live with him for the last three years of his life so that when he passed, he passed in his bed in my home, absolutely,” Becerra replied. “I look forward to working with you on that.”

People nearing the end of life must have their voices heard and their wishes honored. C-TAC applauds Becerra’s commitment to support the sickest and most vulnerable among us. We also commend Sen. Whitehouse, a longtime C-TAC ally and champion for improving serious illness care, for shedding light on these issues.

We look forward to continuing our work with CMMI to find solutions that improve the lives of those with serious illness and their families.

The full Senate Finance Committee hearing is available here. Becerra participated in a second confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee this week, which is available to stream here.

To learn more about C-TAC’s legislative and regulatory efforts, visit our Policy page.

1 Comment

  1. Martha Heymann on March 4, 2021 at 1:51 pm


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