HHS Secretary on reaching vaccine goals, shoring up Obamacare

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra discusses the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, and efforts to vaccinate more Americans.
6:04 | 06/22/21

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Transcript for HHS Secretary on reaching vaccine goals, shoring up Obamacare
More on the fight against the pandemic as well as the supreme court's decision last week upholding the Affordable Care Act lets fringe health and human services secretary. Hobby or a Sara thank you so much for joining us. Things that they. So we'll get to the pandemic and the fight to finally contain it in a moment but the let's start with last week's Supreme Court ruling your agency is in charge of obamacare president Biden campaigned on shoring up Obama care rather than. Moving to a single Payer or Medicare for all system but. We're still seeing many red states resist expanding access to Medicaid even with financial incentives so what Kenny administration do next in order to improve or expand the Affordable Care Act. And and health care access. Lindsay we have not only. Three times now protected the Affordable Care Act per hundreds of millions of Americans but now we're gonna build on it and we think we're providing enough incentive for most. State leaders to want to get on board. Let's put it this way. Today. 38 fifty governors. States are now on board with the expansion of the Medicaid program. Under the Affordable Care Act so millions of Americans have receive coverage as a result. We are in about a week that a vote a 39 states. And we could open a continue to grow because there's no reason why governor would want to allow. His or her residents to not be covered when we are offering them such a great deal to get on board. Is there anything you'd like to see congress do in order to improve obamacare they can actually get bipartisan support especially since we're still a pandemic in congress can't seem to agree on much of anything. Absolutely. We it the American rescue plan. Provided additional subsidy support firm America's mostly middle class Americans who get their coverage to the Affordable Care Act. Those subsidies have made it possible for folks not to fall over the cliff when it comes to. How much support they get because once they crawl up a little bit above a certain income level they Alison lose those whose those subsidies. And the American rescue plan extended made it more possible for those families to keep those we'd like to see those. Extended subsidies remain permanent so that way all those millions of Americans. Continue to have great priced. Insurance can continue moved forward. As your other things as well of course. And as you would certainly know the country has made great progress on vaccinations but we must have been of the Platt channel and it's clear that the president's gonna miss his goal of seven in percent of Americans getting at least one shot by the fourth of July. In fact we'd have to more than double the current pace of adults starting a vaccination process to do so. So not a fourth of July when you anticipate that we might meet that 70% milestone if at all. It should come and we're gonna continue do everything we can't on our end to make it possible that the vaccines will be there. The efforts will be there the outreach will be there we need to see Americans give vaccinated because now we're seeing these ominous trends with these variants of Covert nineteen. Which become more dangerous because we never know if one of them is going to be good mutated to. A strain that is very difficult to contain and not or is he able to escape some of these vaccines and so. Mourn more than see what we want to do is get people vaccinated because the more were vaccinated the less likely ease these variants could take off. And what are you hearing directly from the American people as far as why there's such hesitation to taking the vaccine. Well they're still a sizable portion of those unvaccinated. That say well you have if I didn't have two jobs and if I found a place record go pretty quickly I do it. And so what we want to do is to those who are still willing to give actually. We want to go to where you war we don't want a pats have you wait until you could find time. To reach us in so. We're standing at sites I was just in Denver Colorado where the governor governor polish help stand up two more mobile clinics that goat into the community where people need to get shots we want to continue to do that we're gonna teeny continue to use trusted voice is to help us. Convince people that they should go out there. We have started a program called the Covert nineteen youth corps where we're asking our young people to serve as ambassadors. To their peers to get them to get vaccinated we're gonna do. We've also heard many who haven't taken a vaccine cite the fact that they're still. Under emergency use authorization by the FDA rather than full approval how they donor hurdle is that lack of full approval. Will it shouldn't be a hurdle because we've got cut over 300 million shots have been put in arms. In these months and you're seeing the results the results are Kobe is going way down in America. Deaths are going way down in America hospitalizations are going way down. And so if folks wanted to see the proof in the putting. That putting his Dick pretty tasty and it's out there that the vaccines work. We are in this point of emergency you saw the youth office use authorization. Because we had to move quickly but clearly all the evidence is that these vaccines work. Trying to get people to taste that putting for themselves he finally the sprawling department did touches nearly every American's life in some way. She walked that night that that you wish. You or your department could be doing perhaps better. Well he brought to you the one thing that right now is becoming. Very funnel. To us and that is the cost prescription medication. We see who what the vaccine has cost us as taxpayers because we are essentially making it possible for every American. To get vaccinated without having to spend a penny. They're actually spending my because it's taxpayer money that made the investment to get these vaccines out there. Too many prescription medications are just too expensive. And that's not going in the right direction and so that makes it tough to believe that we're gonna continue to stay headed this. Cost curve when it comes to health care and so that's one of the things that trouble says a lot and president has made a very clear he wants to make sure that prescription drug prices go down. HHS secretary Javier the Sarah we thank you so much for your time appreciate come and Alicia. Things of that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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