If the American people want the health-care world Dr. Berwick wishes to give them, that’s their choice. But they must be given that choice.
Henninger at WSJ
Barack Obama’s incredible “recess appointment” of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is probably the most significant domestic-policy personnel decision in a generation. It is more important to the direction of the country than Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
The court’s decisions are subject to the tempering influence of nine competing minds. Dr. Berwick would direct an agency that has a budget bigger than the Pentagon. Decisions by the CMS shape American medicine.
Dr. Berwick’s ideas on the design and purpose of the U.S. system of medicine aren’t merely about “change.” They would be revolutionary.
One may agree with these views or not, but for the president to tell the American people they have to simply accept this through anything so flaccid as a recess appointment is beyond outrageous. It isn’t acceptable.
The Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, was taken aback at the end-around: “Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power.”
Let’s look, then, at what President Obama won’t let the American electorate hear Dr. Berwick say in front of a committee of Congress. These excerpts are from past speeches and articles by Dr. Berwick:
“I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do.”
“You cap your health care budget, and you make the political and economic choices you need to make to keep affordability within reach.”
Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: