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Opinion | Why Xavier Becerra’s critics could never win by attacking his Catholicism

As a nun who led one of many largest nationwide Catholic well being care organizations within the nation, I do know that no different federal company works as a lot to guard and advance the well being and well-being of households because the Department of Health and Human Services.

That’s why I used to be relieved and thrilled when President Joe Biden announced his intention in December to appoint California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a frontrunner whose character is rooted in his Catholic upbringing and values, to be secretary of well being and human companies. I do know he’s the appropriate individual to steer the company on this second, as he confirmed at his affirmation listening to Tuesday.

Last month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., claimed on the Senate floor that Becerra’s well being care expertise was restricted to suing these “who dare to live out their religious convictions” — a reference to the involvement of Becerra’s workplace, together with officers from different states, in lawsuits defending the women’s health-related provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Skeptics like McConnell, pushed principally by this situation, appear to suppose Becerra lacks the household values which are inherently Catholic — however I do know much better. Becerra comes from an extended religion custom and values integrity, laborious work and treating everybody with dignity and respect. He has devoted his life to public service and to enhancing the lives of the households he serves.

Xavier Becerra’s Catholic religion underpins his dedication to making sure each household has each dignity and entry to well being care.

As our nation continues to battle a lethal pandemic, we’d like his management on the Department of Health and Human Services now greater than ever.

Becerra has a deep data of the ins and outs of the well being care system — a data hard-earned via his a long time in public service. His work on drafting, passing and defending the Affordable Care Act is proof of his expertise in well being care coverage and his dedication to getting Americans the well being care they want. This expertise is invaluable, and it makes him uniquely suited to function well being and human companies secretary.

I’ve lengthy advocated for well being care reform, together with the Affordable Care Act that Becerra helped craft. I keep in mind being in conferences with him again when he represented California in Congress. I used to be moved by his dedication to getting individuals well being care protection, irrespective of their circumstances. He knew that everybody deserves well being care and made positive that nobody was unnoticed when he was writing the invoice.

Later, when he grew to become California’s legal professional common, he labored laborious to defend the legislation towards efforts to eradicate it or decrease its impression on all of the individuals it helped, all of which got here from baseless authorized challenges.

Becerra comes from an extended religion custom and values integrity, laborious work and treating everybody with dignity and respect.

Xavier Becerra’s Catholic religion underpins his dedication to making sure that each household has each dignity and entry to well being care. Both are particularly essential throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which has laid naked a number of the worst inequities in our well being care system. Communities of colour are experiencing the worst of Covid-19, together with disproportionately greater an infection charges, extra extreme circumstances, greater demise charges and fewer entry to vaccinations. Becerra is dedicated to ending these inequities in Covid-19 care and pursuing a extra simply well being care system for all Americans in the long run.

So many Americans are dealing with well being challenges tied to this public well being disaster, which is why we’d like a frontrunner at HHS who understands the significance of entry to care for everybody.

Because of his mother and father’ immigrant expertise, Becerra noticed in his personal life the challenges that households in any respect earnings ranges face. His mother and father instilled in him not solely his robust religion, but additionally the significance of working laborious and the dignity of all people who’re created within the picture of God.

I consider this expertise knowledgeable his perception that everybody deserves well being care.

Becerra has lengthy mentioned he’s pushed by the idea that everybody who works laborious in our nation deserves a possibility to get forward, together with with the ability to ship their kids to varsity and to retire with dignity. That is each a Catholic worth and an American worth; defending that worth begins with defending our family members’ well being.

We want a secretary on the Department of Health and Human Services who is aware of that everybody deserves entry to well being care — interval. Xavier Becerra’s a long time of expertise, robust religion custom and lifetime of public service make him the right match to deliver our nation via this disaster and guarantee a wholesome future for all Americans. He is a extremely certified nominee who is aware of what’s at stake on this nation, and the Senate ought to ignore these spurious assaults on his character and as a substitute transfer rapidly to substantiate him.

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