ASCO Congratulates Xavier Becerra on Confirmation as HHS Secretary

Statement by Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, Board Chair of the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
For immediate release
March 19, 2021


Melissa Lee

“The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) congratulates Xavier Becerra on his confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Secretary Becerra is now in a key position to lead HHS during the agency’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to address the many challenges facing patients and providers across the cancer care delivery system, such as health care disparities and the high cost of care.

“In his most recent role as attorney general of California, Secretary Becerra worked to improve access to insurance benefits as well as COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and treatment for Californians. Before that, he served as a Member of Congress for 24 years, during which he worked on issues such as expanding access to health insurance, ensuring appropriate Medicare and Medicaid benefits and reimbursement, strengthening tobacco prevention and control, reducing health disparities, lowering prescription drug prices, and more.

“ASCO is looking forward to working with Secretary Becerra and HHS to improve the quality and equity of cancer care across the United States. Collaboration between the agency and ASCO will be particularly important as we continue to navigate and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and during the implementation of important initiatives such as the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act and voluntary demonstrations of new physician payment models.”

About ASCO: 

The Association for Clinical Oncology is a 501 (c)(6) organization that represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Established by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2019, the Association works to ensure that all individuals with cancer have access to high-quality, affordable care; that the cancer care delivery system supports optimal cancer care; and that our nation supports robust federal funding for research on the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @ASCO.