The New York Times wrote about Becerra’s ability to approve the waiver process:

“Xavier Becerra has long supported moving the United States to a ‘Medicare for All’ system. As President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to run Health and Human Services, he may have opportunities to speed up such a transition.

The Health and Human Services secretary oversees an array of waivers that states can use to cover new groups or provide different types of health plans. Because these waivers do not require congressional approval, they could become a crucial policymaking tool for the Biden administration if Republicans retain control of the Senate.

“Without a Senate majority, it will be hard to advance some of the fundamental planks of the administration’s plans,” said Katherine Hempstead, a senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “That’s where the waiver authority becomes important.’ […]”

[With the results of the Senate runoff elections in Georgia, the Democrats and Republicans now have a 50-50 split — but Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the deciding vote if there were to be a tie.]

Read more on, written by Sarah Kliff and published December 10th, 2020.