Tomorrow, President Obama will bypass the Senate and give Donald Berwick a recess appointment to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Republican Policy Committee points out that "Democrats never called a hearing on Dr. Berwick’s nomination."
Berwick is controversial because he is a big fan of Britain's National Health Service and has said: "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."
More on Berwick's love of rationing in this piece by Jeffrey H. Anderson:
In an interview last June, Dr. Berwick said, “NICE is extremely effective and a conscientious, valuable, and — importantly — knowledge-building system.” He added that NICE has “developed very good and very disciplined, scientifically grounded, policy-connected models for the evaluation of medical treatments from which we ought to learn.”
Moments later, the interviewer asked, “So you are saying that the federal CER [Comparative Effectiveness Research] agency should get involved in cost determinations?” (The new Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research was created by last year’s “economic stimulus” package.) Berwick replied, “You can say, ‘Well, we shouldn’t even look.’ But that would be irrational. The social budget is limited.” The social budget? Can you even imagine an American Founder using that phrase?
The interviewer then stated, “Critics of CER have said that it will lead to the rationing of health care.” Berwick replied, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”