Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Xavier Becerra appears to be on a smooth path to Senate confirmation. But two days of generally collegial hearings in the Senate HELP and Finance committees exposed fault lines that could shape President Joe Biden’s post-pandemic agenda and will define health policy debates leading into the midterm elections.

Here are four key takeaways:

The fight is shifting from who gets covered to the cost

Republican and Democratic senators grilled Becerra on Tuesday and Wednesday on how the Biden administration will work to bring down the cost of insurance coverage, prescription drugs, and medical tests and procedures. Though he offered few specifics, the questioning signaled a major shift from past battles over how to get more people insured….

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