HHS Sec. Becerra pushes 'health equity' as central mission for department

Becerra pushes 'health equity' as biggest priority of HHS

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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra spoke Friday on the first year of his term in the position and made clear that "health equity" would be the central mission of his department.

Becerra fielded questions from reporters about his plans for HHS moving into the future. Becerra stressed a variety of changes to the mission of the department, including a step away from "parochial" mindsets on drug addiction, a reduction in the price of prescription drugs and a continued effort to suppress the COVID-19 virus. 

During his remarks, Becerra repeatedly used the term "equity," which denotes the rationing and allocating of resources based on perceived social status, privilege and disenfranchisement.

"Health equity has to be part of everything we do," Becerra said, later remarking, "You will see health equity pervades everything we do."

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION PUSHED PRO-CRITICAL RACE THEORY MATERIALS IN 'HEALTH EQUITY' GUIDE

Becerra is hardly the first in the medical industry to stress the need for "equity" and "social justice" from health care providers. Organizations representing medical professionals across the country have come out in support of rationing care based on perceived social status and disenfranchisement.

The American Medical Association recently released a guide on "Advancing Health Equity" that educates on how to fight for critical race theory, includes a list of words not to say and their "equity-focused alternatives," and criticizes concepts like "meritocracy," "individualism" and the "'free' market."

The 55-page document released on Oct. 28 cites a guide by the organization Race Forward for how to advocate for critical race theory (CRT), which is called "Guide to Counter-Narrating the Attacks on Critical Race Theory."

President Joe Biden speaks at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference.

President Joe Biden speaks at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The health equity guide argues physicians cannot eliminate "health inequities" by "focus[ing] only on individuals, their behavior or their biology." It says they instead must focus on language and collective political circumstances of certain groups. 

Rather than using the word "fairness," the guide suggests doctors say "social justice." This is because, it says, fairness "pays no attention to how power relations in society establish themselves but primarily emphasizes outcomes within a pre-given set of rules."

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is interviewed by the Associated Press, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Washington. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is interviewed by the Associated Press, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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In an interview with The Associated Press, the former California attorney general said that America has reached a "pivotal point" in the third year of the pandemic. 

"How well we pivot is on us," Becerra cautioned, noting that without the money for life-saving vaccines, tests and treatments America will be "stuck on the ground." 

In his State of the Union address, President Biden presented a COVID-19 initiative for a new and "more normal" phase of the pandemic.

The administration's National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan – released earlier this month – focuses on four key goals, including protecting against and treating the disease, preparing for new variants, preventing economic and educational shutdowns and continuing to lead the effort to vaccinate the world. 

Fox News' Tyler Olson and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.