President Biden’s nominees for the top three positions at the Department of Health and Human Services all have troubling records marked by inexperience and incompetence in the area of healthcare policy. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to matter to Biden as much as their resolute fealty to the abortion industry.
Biden’s nominee for secretary of HHS, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, has no background in the field of healthcare at all. His background includes attacking the First Amendment rights of pregnancy care centers in California, an effort he ultimately lost at the U.S. Supreme Court. The opinion in the 2018 case NIFLA v. Becerra protected the free speech of pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide. Becerra also sued the Little Sisters of the Poor, insisting the religious order should be forced to pay for contraception and abortifacients in its healthcare plans.
In December 2020, Becerra was faulted by state district attorneys for doing little to stop what was described as the biggest taxpayer fraud in California’s history. Investigators said federal pandemic unemployment benefits worth $400 million to possibly over $1 billion were fraudulently obtained in the names of ineligible prisoners by criminal associates. The vast majority of this money will likely never be recovered, prosecutors said.
Wisconsin’s acting Secretary of Health Andrea Palm has been nominated for the second most powerful position at HHS — deputy secretary. Palm came to the Badger State position with no healthcare education or experience beyond a brief stint at HHS. Within a year of her taking the position, Palm showed she was in way over her head when it came to the state’s COVID-19 response. Her public appearances addressing the pandemic caused confusion as she seemed not to understand the data.
Palm repeatedly exceeded her position’s lawful powers, even issuing an emergency order to close the state indefinitely. (The Legislature sued her and successfully overturned that order.) She was sued for continuing to close and restrict religious gatherings, and she also advised the governor to delay the spring election, which the state Supreme Court blocked.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Wisconsin under Palm’s leadership 40th in the nation in its vaccine rollout. Half of the doses provided to Wisconsin have not yet been administered, and the state still hasn’t completed its priority lists for who should be vaccinated and when.
Finally, Biden has selected Dr. Rachel Levine for HHS assistant secretary of health. Her incompetence as Pennsylvania’s secretary of health is without a doubt the worst of the three.
Levine knew that the order issued from her office forcing COVID-19 patients into nursing homes would lead to deaths. To make matters worse, prior to the issuance of the order, Levine moved her own mother from a state nursing home, thereby protecting her from the harmful order.
According to the New York Times, 6 of the 10 nursing homes with the most COVID-19 deaths in the nation were in Pennsylvania — a direct result of Levine’s policy. Representatives of the nursing home industry have sued the commonwealth, saying that the state illegally withheld $150 million in federal funding, diverting the money into other human services programs.
Like Palm, Levine was incompetent with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Pennsylvania ranks as one of the worst states in the Northeast in terms of percentage of the population that has received a first vaccine dose. According to Fortune magazine, about 2.7 out of every 100 Pennsylvania residents have been vaccinated, putting the commonwealth behind more than 30 other states. The COVID-19 vaccine seems to be the only drug Levine has kept out of Pennsylvania, though — there were 2,352 overdose deaths on her watch through June 30, an increase of 11.7% from 2,105 in the same period a year earlier.
What these three HHS nominees also have in common is their loyalty to abortion-mega-business Planned Parenthood and promotion of abortion in general.
While in Congress, Becerra received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion NARAL Pro-Choice America. As California attorney general, Becerra used his power to protect Planned Parenthood from a baby body parts trafficking scandal, instead using his office to file charges against the organization that exposed the outrage.
Levine opposed legislation in Pennsylvania that included a ban on late-term dismemberment abortions. As secretary of health, Levine designated abortion facilities, including Planned Parenthood, as “essential” but excluded other elective surgical procedures from this designation.
The incompetence in the area of health policy that these three top health officials nominated by Biden share is concerning, and one has to wonder whether they were nominated instead for their unwavering allegiance to big abortion.
LifeNews Note: Tom McClusky is president of March for Life Action.