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Matthew Bassett

Assistant Secretary for Legislation

Matthew Bassett’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary for Legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was confirmed by the Senate in January 2018. Prior to this, Bassett worked as a corporate executive at for-profit health care companies and in government for anti-abortion elected officials.


Bassett leads the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation (ASL) that is charged with helping the White House promote presidential initiatives on health; ASL is also the primary liaison between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Congress. Bassett is therefore involved in all of HHS’ efforts to undermine reproductive rights.


Senior Vice President, Government Relations, myNEXUS, a care management service, 2015 – 2018

Senior Vice President / Senior Counsel, ReviveHealth, a health PR firm, 2011 – 2012

Vice President for Public Policy, DaVita, a dialysis services company, 2006 – 2011

Chief of Staff, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, 2003 – 2006

Deputy Chief of Staff, Rep. Ernie Fletcher (R-KY), 2003

Senior Legislative Assistant, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), 2001 – 2002


Ernie Fletcher:

Bassett worked for former Rep. Ernie Fletcher (R-KY) in 2003. When Fletcher became governor, Bassett followed him to Kentucky, taking the position of chief of staff within the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Fletcher has consistently furthered anti-abortion legislation. As governor of Kentucky, he slashed employment protections for LGBTQ workers before being indicted for handing out state jobs to his political supporters.

Pete Sessions:

Bassett’s early years on the Hill were spent working on Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R-TX) health legislation in 2001 and 2002. Sessions has an extremely anti-abortion voting record; in 2017, he voted for H.R. 36, which attempted to create an unconstitutional federal ban on abortion at 20 weeks. In the same year, he voted in favor of the House Republicans’ unsuccessful health care plan to strip 24 million Americans of their insurance.


Bassett Was Involved With Child Separation Crisis, Wrote Letter To Congress Blaming ORR’s Failure To Quickly Reunify Migrant Families On Public Officials’ Visits To Detention Centers To View Conditions. 

“The Department of Health and Human Services is suggesting that arrangements necessary to accommodate members of Congress who want to visit holding facilities at the border could drain resources that would otherwise be used to reunite immigrant families that were separated. In a letter dated Monday to the House and Senate chairmen of the judiciary committees, HHS Assistant Secretary for Legislation Matthew Bassett wrote that an uptick in congressional interest in the facilities has ‘created resource constraints that are threatening to impact (the Office of Refugee Resettlement's) ability to quickly reunite the children in our care with a parent or safely place them with a sponsor.’” [CNN, 7/6/18]