Better Medicare Alliance Statement on Senate Confirmation of HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra
25th Secretary of HHS enters role with a stated commitment to protecting Medicare Advantage
Washington, D.C. (March 18, 2021) – Better Medicare Alliance, the leading research and advocacy group supporting Medicare Advantage, responded today to the Senate confirmation of Xavier Becerra as the 25th Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Secretary Becerra, a former Congressional colleague of BMA President and CEO Allyson Y. Schwartz, entered his new role today following a stated commitment to protecting Medicare Advantage in his February 24th Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing. There, the Secretary noted that “millions of Americans depend on Medicare Advantage” and praised its success with “wraparound programs” that enhance care for beneficiaries.
“On behalf of our 158 Ally organizations and more than 500,000 grassroots beneficiaries, Better Medicare Alliance looks forward to working with Secretary Becerra to protect the 26 million seniors and Americans with disabilities who depend on Medicare Advantage. We are deeply grateful for his stated commitment to that end,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “With a 98 percent consumer satisfaction rating and bipartisan support from 75 percent of Congress last year, Medicare Advantage is poised to play a key role in the Secretary’s goals of improving health equity, driving coverage gains, and winning the battle against COVID-19.”
Schwartz continued, “Throughout our time together in Congress, I saw firsthand Secretary Becerra’s deep concern for improving health outcomes and reaching underserved communities with the care they need. We aim to continue our dialogue with Secretary Becerra about the ways that Medicare Advantage is doing exactly that. Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are proportionally lower-income, more racially diverse, and possess higher rates of social risk factors than their Traditional Medicare counterparts, yet Medicare Advantage continues to demonstrate more positive health outcomes. With leadership from Secretary Becerra and our bipartisan slate of Medicare Advantage champions in Congress, the future for Medicare Advantage – and the increasingly diverse, vulnerable beneficiary population who depends on its care – is strong.”