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Berwick Misleads on Medicare

2:19 PM, Apr 29, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Medicare's chief Donald Berwick writes in today’s Wall Street Journal,  

Improving quality while reducing costs is a strategy that’s had major success in other fields.  Computers, cars, TVs and telephones today do more than they ever have, and the cost of these products has consistently dropped.  The companies that make computers and microwaves didn’t get there by cutting what they offer:  They achieved success by making their products better and more efficient.  We can do the same when it comes to health care. 

These industries, of course, didn’t have an Obamacre Independent Payment Advisory Board telling them how to reduce the costs of their products — or ordering them to pay less money to everyone who’s involved in making or providing those products. Instead, the costs of their products has been reduced — and their quality improved — through competition and choice, which is exactly what Paul Ryan is trying to bring to Medicare. 

If folks were to read Berwick’s comments entirely out of context, they would likely assume that this administration wholeheartedly believes in the free market. But in truth, it only believes in using free market rhetoric to sell Big Government programs, knowing that Americans would balk at a straight sales pitch in support of its unceasing efforts to expand power and authority in Washington.  Fortunately, Americans are cagey enough that when they hear “competition and choice,” they don’t think, “Obamacare.” Hence, their support for repeal.

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