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tv   HHS Secretary Nominee Xavier Becerra Testifies Before Senate Finance...  CSPAN  February 24, 2021 11:08pm-11:50pm EST

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live with him for the last three years of his life and when he passed he passed in his home, absolutely. >> we have had the same experience. thank you, sir, and god speed in your confirmation. >> thank you. thank my colleague. mr. attorney general, take a 15-minute break. >> thank you. the weather hit, we were seeing a leveling off in first doses --
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and the tentative order of senators will be senator cortez on the web and senator warren in person. so that may be subject to a change if someone who is here earlier and didn't come, but i believe that's the case. senator? are you out there in cyberspace? okay. we will go to senator warren and then we will go to senator -- >> are you ready for me, mr. chairman? >> yes. let me just -- yeah. why don't you go and then we'll sort out where we are after that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so early in the pandemic, representative ayanna pressley
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and i and a lot of the colleagues pushed the trump administration to collect and to publicly release demographic information on who was getting tested for covid-19 and who was getting infected. without this information, there would be no way to know if black, brown and indigenous communities had the same access to tests as white communities and it would be impossible for the federal government to allocate resources equitably. put plainly, you can't fix what you can't see. now, we kept pushing and mandated the data collection in one of the covid relief packages and we know that black, and latino and indigenous people are more than four times to get hospitalized if they get sick and twice as likely to die.
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those data are critical to setting the policies but today a year into the pandemic, nearly half of all testing data collected by the cdc still does not have associated race or ethnicity information. as secretary, will you commit to prioritizing the critical data so that we get a fuller picture of how the virus is affecting all americans? >> senator, first, thank you for making that effort to secure that information. i can make the commitment to you now that i will work with you to make sure we have all of that type of information. we need that information to do a good job. >> good. i'm glad to hear you say that. now, on the vaccine front, we have administered over 64 million doses of the covid-19 vaccine, but the cdc has race and ethnicity information for just over half of those
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vaccines. so if confirmed, will you also commit to improving the collection and publishing of the data on vaccines? >> i commit to work with you to make that happen. >> that's terrific. you know, there's more though. racial equity should be a part of every public health issue that you approach as hhs secretary. chronic conditions, infant and maternal mortality, addiction, racial health disparities aren't coincidences or aberrations in the data. they result from structural racism and it's time to start treating structural racism like any other public health problem. investing in research into its symptoms and its causes and finding ways to mitigates its effects. so let me ask you the third in this series. will you commit to collecting the data we need to see the racial disparities in our health
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care system and to attacking those disparities head on? >> i'm looking forward to working on that with you because it's time. >> thank you very much. i'm looking forward to working with you. i'm going to support this nomination all the way. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank our colleague. senator cortez masstoe is i believe next. >> thank you. i'm here. congratulations on your nomination. very excited for you and your family. but let me start with an issue that i have been focused on for the state of nevada and many of us really have been talking about putting in the most recent package. first i want to thank the administration for the work that provides covid-19 relief to families across america and it's needed out there. so many of the provisions in the plan are critical to getting the americans back on their feet but
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i'd like to focus on the cobra subsidies that will be a life line to out of work nevadans. the economy was devastated by the coronavirus and the loss in the gaming sectors have taken a toll across the state. the families have experienced layoffs, seen their hours cut. they have lost steady wages and they lost their health care. the cobra subsidies are critical because they are key to opreserving the -- preserving the benefits that union workers have fought for and scene for the whole families' coverage and ensuring access to the doctors and specialists. so general becerra, i know you understand how essential these are to working families. can we count on you to help us protect the hard-fought benefits
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that will help nevada families and families stay afloat during this crisis and beyond? >> senator, you have my commitment because you're talking about having a continuity of coverage for people who were working, oftentimes had their coverage because of their work or through their union through no fault of their own, now they find themselves in these conditions so absolutely you have my commitment to work with you on this. >> thank you. then i want to touch on another subject that my colleague, senators widen and stabenow have talked about which is mental health. this pandemic has shown shone a bright light to the elderly and from those with a history of substance abuse or serious mental illness who have been thrown off track, to families facing the trauma of job loss, poverty everyone is hurting. we have had and made a huge effort last year to health
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support in the various coronavirus relief packages, but let me just say this. block grants and patchwork funding are no way to sustain the mental health infrastructure that the nation needs over the long term. we should see the pandemic as an opportunity to build an even stronger support system for american families, and that's why i've been working on legislation that builds on senator wyden's cahoots act to bolster behavioral services response services across the country. it integrates senator stabenow's community health services. so i look forward to working with you on this legislation that will build on guidelines to create a framework for providing emergency mental health services to individuals in crisis. you know better than anyone with your broad experience, particularly as most recent attorney general of california,
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there is a need for this. and we just have to get it right moving forward. so, can i count on your support in working with us to address mental health and behavioral health services in the state and across the country? >> senator, for the reasons you've just articulated, i started a disact rights unit in the department of justice in california, and i am absolutely looking forward to working with you on these issues. >> wonderful. lastly, i would like to underscore the imperative that hhs focus on improvements to the indian health services. we are in bipartisan agreement here in congress that the service is in dire need of additional stable funding in order to meet the basic need of indian country. many of us also sit on senate indian affairs, and this is crucial, critical, that we have your support. the crisis at hhs is years in the making. can i get an a commitment from you that we can listen to you, that you're willing to come talk
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with us about how we address and improve upon indian health service in this country? >> absolutely, you have that commitment. >> thank you. congratulations again. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator cortez masto. senator cassidy is next. >> hello. again, good to see you. general becerra, if i had to guess, if i was a betting man, i would bet that you've got the votes to be approved. as i mentioned yesterday in the health committee, my concern is that you're part of the largest domestic agency and you don't have the background. now, your answers have been -- you have been general, and i have no doubt that you'll have good advisers. but as i said yesterday, i'm a physician. should i be the attorney general of the united states? obviously the answer is no. so -- but -- but there's three major buckets of hhs. one bucket is the social services. the other is the finance, the medicare and medicaid.
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and the third is what we discussed, the kind of fda, nih, another bucket, if you will. and those are the three big ones and everything else is far less. so, just to kind of explore because as senator burr said yesterday, this is kind of your opportunity to introduce yourself to the american people and to say, nope, i've got it. i'm ready. i don't know everything, but i know enough that you don't have somebody coming in who's unfamiliar with what might be happening. so, let me just ask a couple things. tan igt is a program that will be under your administration, and can you just talk -- and you've spoken about enforcing existing laws. so, knowing the goals of the program, what could we do to more specifically to address those specific goals as laid out in the statute? >> senator, thanks very much for the chance to answer the question. and by the way, thank you very much for the time you gave me to sit down and talk about a number of issues. what i can tell you is if we're
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talking about children and families, hhs can do a whole lot to make sure that whether it's knew trishl goals, that we are working with all of our sister agencies and with our state and local partners to make sure that we are trying to improve the condition of life for these families, especially families -- >> if i may because i have limited time, the statute says specifically among the four goals, but to reduce out of wedlock pregnancies, to promote the formation and maintenance of two-parent families, the independence on government benefits through work, job preparation and marriage, and then to provide assistance to needy families with children so they can live in their own homes or the homes of relatives. so, what specifically about those goals -- because this is part of one of those big three buckets that you'll be administering -- would you bring
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to the table as sort of a policy solution? >> having been someone who had the benefit of having two loving parents and had a chance to be raised by people who always worked hard and gave me the best example, i certainly believe twhaun of the things that we can do is continue to strive to give all of our children the opportunity to be raised in a loving home and with an opportunity to succeed -- >> so, general that's the goal of the program, that's the statute. i guess the question is what experience -- or what specific programs or what critique of existing programs would you offer in order to better meet that goal? again, as something that hhs secretary will be responsible for. >> certainly i think there's always a need to try to improve on the different programs. we always learn every year of how we can make them better. we learn of inefficiencies or bureaucracies that sometimes get away. if i'm fortunate to be confirmed, i certainly will take a close look. and with your help and the oversight that you all do, i hope what we can do is improve the programs and have in place
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the road map whether through statute or regulation that lets us advance the interest of these families. >> the third bucket is the financing which is the medicaid and medicare program. we've talked a lot of things in this committee. you've been on ways and means, and we're involved in the medicare modernization, so this might be more your wheelhouse. just one issue we've discussed, medicare and beneficiaries -- increasing share of commercial enrollees pay co-insurance based upon the list price of a drug. so, if the pharmaceutical company drives up the list price to give a bigger rebate to a pharmacy benefit manager, the net promise may be lower for the pbm, but the patient is paying based on the list price. what steps could hhs take to protect the patient in this situation? >> well, here we have to look at this from the perspective of the
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patient. and i know that there are a number of things going on right now with the rebate program. and rather than let patients, medicare beneficiaries, get embroiled in the food fight between pbms and drug makers, we have to make sure that we agree -- all of us agree -- that whatever we're going to do, whether it's on rebates or anything having to do with prescription drugs, we're letting our seniors on medicare know that we're going fight to lower the price. without getting into the specifics of the different fights that are going on between the different providers and those that are involved, the stakeholders, what i can tell you is that we will do the oversight. there are, in some cases, existing regulations that tell us how to proceed with regard to the rebates. there is existing authority. what we can do is make sure that no one is trying to gain the system. that at the end of the day we're looking for lower prices on prescription drugs that our seniors count on. >> okay.
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thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> i thank my colleague and i look forward to working with him. senator sasse, the three remaining senators are senator sasse, senator portman. >> thank you, chairman. you said a little while ago that you never sued the nuns, which is a pretty interesting way of reframing your bullying. you actually sued the federal government who had given an exception to the nuns. can you explain to us what the little sisters of the poor were doing wrong? >> so, senator, as i tried to explain, my actions were against the federal government. the little sisters of the poor, we never allege that the little sisters of the poor did anything wrong. our problem was that the federal government was not abiding by the law as we saw it. and what we did was we took action against the federal government so california could administer its programs to ensure that the affordable care act continued to work. >> what were the nuns doing that made it impossible for
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california to administer their program? that was a complete nonsense answer. what were the nuns doing? >> our action was against the federal government -- >> no, no, you continued and you said, so that california could administer your program. what did the nuns do that made it difficult for california to administer their program? >> senator, what i'm trying to explain to you is we were not looking at the actions of little sisters or any other program. our actions were against the federal government in the way it was applying the law as it existed to california. >> but what did the federal government do? it was about the nuns. this is nonsense. what you're saying isn't true. you say you didn't sue the nuns. you sued the federal government that was keeping you from making sure the nuns had to buy contraceptive insurance. were the nuns going to get pregnant? >> senator, the actions of the state of california -- and i was
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defending the actions of our state and the laws that were in place. the federal government took actions, changed the way that we would administer the programs that we had under the affordable care act. our actions related to how providers are providing services to the people of california. when the federal government took action that we thought was unlawful, we took action to protect the people of california. >> so, again, a whole bunch of words, but you know well -- you're an incredibly smart man. you know well that what the federal government did was make sure that you couldn't target the nuns, so you sued the federal government because the federal government said the nuns didn't have to buy contraceptive insurance. you can put 17 layers of you're following the law to administer the program or doing x or y that made it difficult for california to administer the program. but it was just about nuns buying contraceptive coverage. was there something else the federal government did that you were suing them for in the case called california versus little sisters of the poor? >> senator, the case was not --
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again, that was not the name of the case. and what i will tell you is that our actions were based on trying to follow the law that when the federal government took action, which we believe did not comport with the law, at that point we took action. and our action was based on the law. so, as i've said, we may disagree on how we see this, and i respect the differences that we may have. but my action was to follow the law. >> what about the law, as the federal government's conscience exceptions applied in the case you sued the federal government. what about the law applied to anyone except the nuns and other religious institutions. you were targeting religious liberty. >> senator, let me see if i can try to answer. the affordable care act tries to make sure that we are providing health care to all americans, and we have to make sure that we provide the services that americans are entitled to receive. we try to make sure that in california under the affordable
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care act every californian receives the benefits they're entitled to under that act. and so when we saw that the federal government was taking actions which might abridge those rights -- >> so i'm going to ask the question again. this is the third time you haven't answered. were any of those actions about anything except nuns and religious liberty? was the federal government taking other actions or was it just to target the nuns and religious liberty? >> senator, again, i respect the way you view it -- >> because it's actual what happened. >> senator, again i understand that we may view it differently, but i was trying to protect access to care -- >> i'm giving you the chance to explain what you think it's about if it wasn't about this and you've not yet explained any party except the law as administered by the federal government. but it was about the nuns. >> senator, i'll try once again to explain. californians are entitled under the affordable care act to access care -- >> and the nuns were keeping
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them from getting care how? to make sure the religious liberties were protected. is there anything else that the federal government was doing except making sure the nuns had the religious lubberty. for the fifth time you've not answered the question. i've asked you for any party besides the nuns. i'll move on. former abortion industry employees from your state have claimed on camera that babies who survived abortions were left to die by planned parenthood staff in your state in clear violation of state and federal law. instead of investigating these claims, you raided the houses of the filmmakers who brought these atrocities to light. why did you do that? >> senator, again, i respect the way you framed it. i would say to you that it's clear that we have -- we look at it differently. california has privacy laws. we enforce privacy laws. when we take action based on violation of privacy laws it's because we have evidence that
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the rights of californians to their privacy has been violated. you've described it differently, but what i will say to you is my job is to follow the law and make sure others do as well. >> so, i think what you're saying is the baby body parts weren't interesting but the filming of it was. but in 2014 and 2015 -- >> the senator from nebraska is over his time and his colleague senator barrasso is next. >> can i ask my colleague if he minds if i go for 45 seconds. >> sure. 45 seconds and that's it. >> thank you, chairman. in 2014 and 2015, california poultry farms were recorded secretly showing inhumane treatment of animals in california. did you investigate the filmmakers of the poultry farm filmings? >> in what years sf. >> 2014 and 25015. >> i was not the attorney general. >> the time has expired. senator from wyoming. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for taking time to visit by phone and we value your
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willingness to serve our country. you started the testimony referring to the painful impact of coronavirus on all of us. rural communities as we talked are facing significant challenges, especially as a result of the pandemic. we talked about rural health needs and getting physicians in training into rural communities. the doctor who practiced in wyoming for over two decades, very interested in and focused in protecting health care in rural america. one aspect of health care that's often overlooked are the many factors outside the direct patient care that impact the health of individuals. according to the centers for disease control and prevention, social determinants of health have a major impact on people's health, well being and quality of life. t when you were in the house of representatives you actually helped draft legislation requiring the secretary of health and human services, which you're now nominated to serve, to conduct research on social determinants of health in medicare's value-based programs. so, then you agree that social
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determinants of health such as employment, educational opportunity, all strongly impact the health of individuals, chronic unemployment is harmful at a high rate. and that's why i'm so bothered that one of the first actions taken by the biden administration was a ban on oil and gas leasing and the impact of that on jobs in my state are just devastating. it's killing jobs. it's killing hope in communities. people are worried about raising unemployment rates. and all the issues that come along with that, the -- these industries create thousands of jobs, contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to states. and the money is used -- education for schools, for students and helping hospitals stay open and stay viable in these communities. and the biden administration's decision is clearly going to have a terrible um pact on health and well being of communities in wyoming and
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across rural america. and it's a decision made by executive order day one. do you agree that cutting hundred of millions of dollars from hospitals and schools is going to have an impact on health and rural communities? >> senator, first, thank you for the question and thank you for the chance to chat by phone. any time a community is impacted where it loses jobs, loses access to care and good schools, you're going to see impacts. so, i think we all want to make sure that we're doing everything possible to make sure that every family, wherever they locate, has their opportunitys that we expect in america. >> i'll talk about what's happening also with the pandemic, especially how it's impacted seniors, other vulnerable people living in nursing facilitys in terms of my home state of wyoming, large proportion of people who have lost their lives to coronavirus have been patients in nursing homes. that's where it struck first within the state and continues. from a public health perspective, i think it's important for states and local
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governments to accurately report information regarding the impact of coronavirus. and you know, unfortunately it's clear now that the state of new york not only failed to report accurate data regarding nursing home deaths but likely deliberately misled the public. according to the attorney general of new york, and i don't know if that's someone you worked with because you're still attorney general of california, the attorney general of new york said the state undercounted deaths of coronavirus in nursing homes by up to 50%. do you believe it's important to accurately report data. >> senator, i think it's important that all of us do the work to make sure that our data reflects the facts and that the data has been used appropriate way sos that we can make decisions on how to move forward. >> so, giving this glaring evidence that's presented by the new york attorney general, as secretary will you advocate that the biden administration fully
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investigate what occurred in this situation? >> senator, i know the attorney general of new york very well, ag james is a tremendous advocate for her state. but i don't know the facts in that particular case. and it would be difficult for me to comment. >> the other issue that you and i talked about, graduate medical education, and you and i have similar situations. you in california know that the majority of the money goes to the big cities. doctors train there. we talked about your wife, who's a physician, most people practice medicine within 50 miles of where they do their training. so, little of the money goes to the 26 states that have the greatest needs in term of underserved communities. i don't know if you've had a chance to give additional thought to that, but it's critical that we get a redistribution of the money if we're going to get a redistribution of where physicians practice in america because they tend to stay pretty close to the area where they train. >> senator, you brought up a very good point because i think
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that the data will bear what you said out that often times once you find yourself in a residency program you end up sticking around pretty close. you start to meet people. sometimes you meet your spouse and establish families. so, i think it is important that we make sure that no community in the country is not considered when it comes to the opportunity to have these tremendously important professionals like you, like my wife, provide care to our families. so, i am more than willing to work closely with you on that because i think it would be a mistake if we allowed the real professionals who have been champions in this covid pandemic to not be spread throughout the country. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank my colleague. senator toomey is on the web. then we will have senator haas son and portman and that will be it. it's been a long morning and afternoon. >> can you hear me okay? >> yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. attorney general becerra. welcome and thanks for your
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willingness to serve. i want to zero in on one particular health care policy that you have advocated for and which i find very, very disturbing. and specifically i'm referring to the use of the so-called marchand rights by the federal government to basically confiscate the intellectual property of a private company. you sent a letter to dr. francis collins, the director of the nih, and former commissioner of the fda, stephen hahn, demanding that the government use these so-called marchand rights to steal the legal rights of the product, in this case, remdesivir, and give it to a third party to manufacture. the letter was sent august 4th, 2020, so just a few months ago. we're in the midst of a global pandemic and just a few months after this, perhaps, life-saving treatment was approved by the fda for emergency use in
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hospitalized patients with covid-19. and it was almost an entire month before the fda expanded the use no longer severe disease. you didn't think the product was being manufactured fast enough and you didn't like the price. well, i don't -- i'm not convinced that comports with reality here. consumers were not being charged the full cost of the drug, and separate co-pays are not paid on inpatient drugs. congress had already acted to protect uninsured patients from any costs related to covid-19 treatments. in fact congress went a step further, increasing payments to hospitals that cared for covid-19 patients. but this policy that you are recommending also seems to me to betray a lack of understanding of the basic incentives and the science and how drugs are made. gilead was in the process of finding other manufacturers at the time that could help them
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expand the production had there been a significant increase in demand. also you disregarded the opinions of legal and scientific experts about this. dr. collins himself previously testified that nih legal experts do not believe the law allows the agency to intervene based on a drug's price, which is one of the reasons you cited. here's what dr. collins said, and i quote, if you look at the language of the bill, it really intends to cover a circumstance where a drug is simply not available to the public under any circumstances. and then nih is entitled to step in. this is a little different when it's available but at a high cost. our legal experts don't feel that the law actually puts us in a position to step in, end quote. so, mr. becerra, i'm not convinced that you fully appreciate the downstream effects of socialist-type policies such as those that you have advocated.
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so, let me just ask this. do you acknowledge that the administration does not actually have the legal authority to use marchand rights as a mechanism to try to lower drug prices? >> senator, first thank you for the question and great to have an opportunity to have a dialogue with you again after years of serving together, concluding on the supercommittee. what i will tell you is this. if you -- you raised the subject of marchand rights. the letter that i was a part of was a bipartisan letter. attorney general jeff landry from louisiana and i put together that letter, and we had many, many attorneys general from both sides of the aisle who were part of that. and if you remember the date that you mentioned the letter was issued, that was at the time, if you'll recall, when we started to see the rapid increase in cases of covid. and what we knew then -- or what we know now is far more than
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what we knew then. what we knew then was that many americans were dying. and what we knew then was that remdesivir does a drug that was keeping people alive. and what we also knew then -- and this was bipartisan -- at least back at the state level, maybe folks here at the federal level had more information. but at the state level, we are seeing our folks die. and we knew that there was a drug that could keep them alive -- >> well, i've run out of time, and i just have to say we've got very different understandings of this history. there was not a shortage of remdesivir. there was not a problem with people who couldn't afford it because of other steps congress had taken. but there's a big problem when the government comes in and con fis skates the intellectual property that has head to a successful product. it creates a chilling effect and seriously discouraging future investment. i'm running out of time here, but i would appreciate it and suggest you might want to consider whether the bob dole act ever intended to act as a
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mechanism that would undermine the incentive for the private sector to deliver needed products. >> i thank my colleague. we have two senators who may join us momentarily. mr. inspector general -- mr. attorney general. what we're going to do is just go through a couple of formalities and see if they are going to arrive, and we should be able to wrap up. first, with respect to members, i would like to thank all members for their participation. i would like to thank attorney general becerra for a very long afternoon regarding questions for the record. the deadline for members to submit questions will be friday, february 26th at 5:00 p.m. that 5:00 p.m. deadline is firm. we want to thank everyone for their cooperation. i have a couple of other matters. senator crapo, anything that you need to add? >> no, thank you. >> okay. then moving very quickly,
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mr. attorney general, we wrote a law -- bipartisan law -- in this committee. i think i mentioned this to you briefly in our conversation. it went into effect in 2018 to reflect the transformation of the medicare program. the medicare program, when i began the great panthers in oregon, we acknowledged it was an acute care program, part a, part b, you broke your ankle, went to the hospital. you had bad case of the flu, you went to the doctor. but it was acute care. that is not medicare today. today medicare is mostly chronic care, cancer and diabetes and heart disease and strokes and the like. this committee wrote a bipartisan law. i consider it one of the most transformative health initiatives in many years, and the trump people basically said it was a wonderful idea and never did anything about it in terms of moving it forward. my question to you is when
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you're confirmed -- and i will use that when you are confirmed -- will you assign several people of your staff to work with the bipartisan leadership on this committee, as senator crapo and i have talked about these issues before with senator hatch and others and we would like to have a chance to work with you after the senate votes on your confirmation. >> senator, i look forward to that, and i can certainly confirm that. >> very good. one last point, and that is at today's hearing, it was clear there were stark differences of opinion when it comes to women's health care. and mr. attorney general, you have made it clear that you respect those differences. and i want to emphasize this point now. if confirmed you will follow the law on women's health and all other issues that you will be responsible for as health and human services secretary. so, given those commitments that
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you have made, mr. attorney general, today, in my view the differences of opinion should not be used as a rational to prevent confirmation of a person like yourself who is qualified. and i just wanted to set that out for the record. i want to make sure that senator hassan and senator portman aren't waiting. i see no evidence that they are. and with that, the finance committee is adjourned.
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>> the surgeon general nominee and nominee for assistant secretary for health testified
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thursday morning at their confirmation hearing before the senate house, education, labor, and pensions committee. watch live at 10:00 eastern on c-span three, online at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> we have several events streaming live thursday on our website. at nine: 30 a.m. eastern, defense department officials testify in front of the senate armed services committee about the pentagon's covid-19 response. at 10:00, katherine tai has her confirmation hearing to be u.s. trade representative. a house appropriations subcommittee hears from the acting u.s. capitol police chief and the acting house sergeant at arms about improving security at the capitol following last month's attack. you will find that live at c-span.org. >> sunday on q and a, erica armstrong dunbar, history
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professor at rutgers university, talks about her book, "she came toslay" on the life and exploits of harriet tubman. >> we know that she made at least 13 trips to and from the eastern shore of maryland. that's one thing that people either don't know or are confused. tubman was not running all over the south emancipating people. she made specific, targeted trips to the state of maryland to rescue her family and her friends. we know that she touched the lives of many, basically emancipated at least 60 to 70 people on at least 13 trips. >> erica armstrong dunbar sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's
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"q&a.." the white house covid response team announced plans to distribute masks to food banks and community health centers in an effort to help underserved communities combat the virus. response coordinator also spoke about plans for distributing the latest johnson & johnson vaccine once it is approved for emergency use by the fda. this runs 35 minutes. >> by acknowledging that we have passed a grim milestone in this pandemic, half a million people debt from covid-19. this pandemic has touched each of us. so many have lost loved ones. we have been separated from our friends and families. too many of our businesses and schools have been closed for way too long. president biden is clear, we are at war with this virus, and we are using every resource at o

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