President-elect Joe Biden has tapped California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be his nominee for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
As a Member of Congress, Becerra was a strong advocate of Medicare for All. The move, in combination with choosing Kamala Harris (another Medicare for All supporter) as VP, signals to some that Biden will move to expand Medicare more broadly than he earlier signaled.
Biden has previously indicated he supports lowering the age for Medicare eligibility to 60. However, as his Administration takes shape, it seems that may be only the beginning of his expansion plan for the program.
Medicare for All enjoys significant support among progressive Democrats. Harris joined Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as a supporter of the effort this year during the Democratic primary.
With the addition of Becerra to a key health policy role, it seems Biden’s team may be exploring additional Medicare options. At a minimum, Biden is surrounding himself with health policy advocates who back a move toward some form of universal health care.
Becerra is currently the lead attorney joining other attorneys general in defending key provisions of the Affordable Care Act from Republican attack.