“Health justice is peace of mind. Peace of mind is knowing that your health care isn’t just for your body, but that it’s also for your mind.”
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra

Drawing from his years of experience as an advocate for health equity, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra delivered a keynote address about the meaning of health justice and how the department is working towards an equitable health care system that allows all people to thrive. For Becerra, health justice is peace of mind – the freedom to decide what health care you need, or the knowledge that you won’t go bankrupt from a hospital visit.  

Key quotes and highlights include: 

  • “If we really want to move towards a wellness care system, we have to talk about avoiding the sicknesses, the chronic illnesses, that drive our system to be very inefficient.” Secretary Becerra discussed the Department’s efforts to move towards a wellness care system rather than an illness care system by focusing on preventive care, as well as how needs like housing and food are deeply intertwined with health and wellbeing.   

This is part of a six-part series capturing plenary discussions from Community Catalyst’s 2023 annual convening, Building Power for Health Justice. Our focus on power is a recognition of the need for us to leverage and build power together to create a health system rooted in race equity and health justice, and a society where health is a right for all. 

Urge the Biden administration to take further action on medical debt and expand Essential Health Benefits here and here

Learn more about Community Catalyst’s work to address social determents of health here