PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island is set to play host to another member of the Biden administration this week.
12 News has learned Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is scheduled to visit the state on Friday, according to people familiar with the plans.
The secretary’s visit will reportedly focus on President Joe Biden’s American Families and American Jobs plans, in addition to Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment.
Becerra’s office later confirmed this, saying he’ll start the day in North Kingstown with a roundtable discussion on “critical investments in home and community-based care,” along with U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin.
Then, Becerra and the state’s congressional delegation will be joined by Gov. Dan McKee as they tour a community health care center in Central Falls to discuss the Biden administration’s “Summer Sprint to Coverage,” which seeks to increase enrollment on HealthCare.gov ahead of the Aug. 15 deadline.
Becerra’s visit would be the third high-profile visit to Rhode Island in recent months.
In May, Vice President Kamala Harris also stopped by to tout the American Jobs Plan.
During her visit, Harris talked exclusively with 12 News politics editor Ted Nesi about why she made Rhode Island one of the first states she visited as vice president, her conversation with Gov. Dan McKee, and the crisis at the southern border.
The vice president was joined by U.S. Commerce Secretary and former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, who both made unplanned visits to several small businesses before taking part in a women-led small business roundtable discussion.
Becerra, a former member of Congress and attorney general of California, is the first Latino to hold the position of HHS secretary in U.S. history.
The secretary was one of the original cosponsors of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which strengthened Medicare and lowered costs for seniors. He also led the three-year federal court fight to save the ACA.