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  • Washington Highlights

    HHS Secretary Becerra Testifies on FY25 HHS Budget Request


    Devan O'Toole, Legislative Analyst
    Sinead Hunt, Senior Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra testified before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Ways and Means Committee on March 20, regarding President Joe Biden’s Department of HHS budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2025

    During the House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, among other key HHS priorities, multiple subcommittee members asked specifically about research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) regarding long COVID, youth mental health, and women’s health. In accordance with the president’s Executive Order on Advancing Women’s Health Research and Innovation, Becerra reported that the NIH and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health will invest in clinical research on women’s health. At the House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Becerra discussed how the HHS plans to expand health care coverage, particularly in rural areas; lower health care costs; enhance access to reproductive health; and engage in several other initiatives. In a key exchange, committee chair Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) highlighted an example of a Colorado-based safety-net hospital, Denver Health, which is facing difficulties in providing care to both asylum seekers and state residents. He asked about the department’s actions to address the adverse impacts of the migrant crisis on the health care safety-net, referencing a Feb. 29 letter that he and other Republican committee members sent to Becerra. 

    Several members of the committee, including Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah), inquired as to the department’s response to the Change Healthcare attack [refer to Washington Highlights, March 15]. In his response, Becerra emphasized that the HHS has issued approximately $2.5 billion in advanced payments to mitigate cash flow challenges and help providers make their payroll.