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Letters to the Editor: Xavier Becerra isn’t a doctor. Now the Republicans care about expertise?

Xavier Becerra speaks during his Senate confirmation hearing to be secretary of Health and Human Services.
Xavier Becerra speaks during his confirmation hearing to be secretary of Health and Human Services before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Feb. 23.
(Sarah Silbiger / Associated Press)

To the editor: With immeasurable disbelief, I read about Republican senators questioning Health and Human Services secretary nominee Xavier Becerra’s lack of medical education and experience as a physician.

Where were these same GOP senators on Jan. 24, 2018, when Alex Azar was confirmed with a smooth 55-43 vote? Did they not have the same reservations when advancing former President Trump’s Health and Human Services nominee? Did Azar’s “medical” experience as a former Eli Lilly executive satisfy their need for such expertise?

Just like Azar, Becerra is not a physician but, rather, an attorney (actually the current attorney general of California) who has experience on healthcare policy. More notably, Becerra has been an ardent defender of the Affordable Care Act. As The Times’ article pointed out, only three of the last 12 Health and Human Services secretaries have had medical degrees.

Perhaps the GOP should acknowledge their veritable issue: Becerra is a pro-choice Latino who has fought for Medicare for All.

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Yasmin Netervala-Iseli, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The GOP cannot question anyone’s lack of experience after Trump’s presidency and the ramifications we’ll be dealing with for years to come.

Never are they allowed to use inexperience as a reason not to consider someone for office — ever.

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Tami Jacoby, Santa Ana


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