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Incoming HHS Secretary Becerra will be a champion for whistleblowers

Posted  January 22, 2021
By Gordon Schnell

Published in San Francisco Chronicle

Most are applauding Xavier Becerra as President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to run the U.S. Health and Human Services.  This is the agency — with nearly $1.3 trillion at its disposal — that oversees the safety of our drugs (through FDA), deals with outbreaks and pandemics (through CDC), and administers Medicare and Medicaid.  It is at the epicenter of ensuring our ultimate public health and safety.  No easy task, especially these days.

But there is another key attribute of this regulatory body that perhaps even further separates it from its sister agencies.  It is a magnet for fraud.  . . .  With all the strengths and conviction we can expect to see from our new health care czar, it is in the area of fraud-busting where we likely will see soon-to-be Secretary Becerra shine brightest.  Based on his strong record as California attorney general, he likely will use the one-two punch of whistleblowers and the False Claims Act to get the job done.

. . .

It is just the type of mind-set we need to counter the ever-tightening strain our health care system continues to face.  Not just from a virus that continues to rage out of control, but also from what many see as the inexorable move to more universal, government-funded health coverage.  . . .  In anointing Xavier Becerra to take up the health care reins, President-elect Biden certainly seems to have picked the right person for the job.

Click here to read the full article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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