WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama bypassed the Senate Wednesday and appointed Dr. Donald Berwick, a Harvard professor and patient care specialist, to run Medicare and Medicaid.
The decision to use a so-called recess appointment to install Berwick as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services drew immediate fire from the GOP. Republicans have raised concerns about Berwick’s views on rationing of care and other matters and said it was wrong for Obama to go around the normal Senate confirmation process. That view was echoed by a key Democratic committee chairman, although the recess appointment is a tool used by presidents of both parties.
“Democrats haven’t scheduled so much as a committee hearing for Donald Berwick but the mere possibility of allowing the American people the opportunity to hear what he intends to do with their health care is evidently reason enough for this administration to sneak him through without public scrutiny,” said McConnell, R-Ky.
Could that be because Dr Berwick has been quoted as saying he “loves” the NHS (the British Health Care system) and that rationing of care is absolutely necessary and that it also a “redistribution of wealth” issue??
Gee, I wonder why no one wanted to talk about that? 🙂
Berwick, 63, is a pediatrician, Harvard University professor and leader of a health care think tank, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, that works to develop and implement concepts for improving patient care. The programs he will oversee — Medicare and Medicaid for the elderly, poor and disabled, along with the Children’s Health Insurance Program — provide care to about 100 million people, or around 1 in 3 Americans.
So he’s yet another Harvard Ivy Tower Academic Liberal.
I know I’m excited.
Dr Berwin: “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly.”
April 2009: Senator Max Baucus, told CNSNews in April, “There is no rationing of health care at all” in the proposed reform. (and the Baucus bill was the ‘bi-partisan’ one!)
He was the Chair of the committee that wouldn’t schedule the hearings on the Doctor’s confirmation, by the way.
And The President ran around during the debate last year that saying “rationing” was just a scare tactic.
It’s just those echoes of the health care debate that Democrats would prefer not to replay on the Senate floor.
So let’s not and say we did, and just call the whole thing off and just appoint him without any coverage at all.
Let’s just sweep it under the rug…Nothing to see here…. 🙂
Dr Berwin 2008: “Any health care funding plan that is just equitable civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.”
Redistribution of wealth? Where have I heard that before?
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. 🙂
“If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement, and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples, so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be okay.”
“But, The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, as least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.
“One of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil rights movement, was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that.” —That would be Illinois State Senator Barack Obama in 2001.
In Obama’s America, we’ll finally be able to break free of the “constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution” — and in so doing, achieve “social justice” through “redistributive change.”
Well, then. Fine .
But this is not the America I knew… (Michelle Malkin)
So the “transparent” President strikes again.
Only, what he’s transparent about isn’t what people thought he meant by that when they foolishly voted for him.
“I am romantic about the National Health Service,” he told a London audience in 2008, referring to the British single-payer system. “I love it,” Dr. Berwick added, going on to call it “such a seductress” and “a global treasure.” He routinely points to the NHS as a health-care model for the U.S. (WSJ)
According to a “topline message points” document on his nomination that we obtained, “The fact is, rationing is rampant in the system today, as insurers make arbitrary decisions about who can get the care they need. Don Berwick wants to see a system in which those decisions are transparent—and that the people who make them are held accountable.”
The people who can write such things with a straight face believe there is no difference between rationing through individual choices and price signals and rationing through politics and bureaucratic omniscience. In an influential 1996 book “New Rules,” Dr. Berwick and a co-author argued that one of “the primary functions” of health regulation is “to constrain decentralized, individual decision making” and “to weigh public welfare against the choices of private consumers.”
He then recommended “protocols, guidelines, and algorithms for care,” with the “common underlying notion that someone knows or can discover the ‘best way’ to carry out a task to reach a decision, and that improvement can come from standardizing processes and behaviors to conform to this ideal model.” And guess who will determine the “best way”?
As I said repeatedly during the Health care “debate”, the government wants to decide who lives and who dies.
Nothing more, Nothing Less.
Now doesn’t that make you feel better. 🙂