The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee this morning is holding the first of two Senate committee hearings this week on President Biden’s nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary.
Today’s HELP hearing starts at 10:00 a.m. EST. Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing begins at 2:30 p.m. EST. Tuesday’s HELP session is a courtesy hearing, as the committee does not vote on nominees to be HHS secretary. That job falls to the Finance panel.
The HELP committee has jurisdiction over the 340B program. Becerra may be questioned about the 340B program today, both from senators friendly to health care providers on 340B matters and from senators more sympathetic to the drug industry point of view. HELP Democrats Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), and/or Tina Smith (Minn.) are the members most likely to make pro-provider statements and ask pro-provider questions. Republicans Bill Cassidy (La.) and/or Mike Braun (Ind.) might ask whether stronger oversight of 340B providers is needed.
340B Report will be covering the hearing today and will report on any relevant developments.