Dr. Death Panel Gets a Hearing.
Barack Obama gave Donald Berwick a recess appointment on July 6 to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. There likely would have been a huge fight during his confirmation hearings so TheBoyPresident™ simply avoided them. There’s nothing particularly unusual about recess appointments, all Presidents use them to get their people into offices where the Senate is not likely to confirm them. The thing that’s unusual about Berwick’s recess appointment is that he never had a hearing. Here’s some interesting rationale from Time’s Swampland blog on July 7.
The Administration announced last night that it would use a recess appointment to get Donald Berwick in place as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Recess appointments are controversial and this is no exception. Republicans are downright angry that the White House, apparently without much warning, decided to circumvent Congress and critics who were gearing up for a high-profile fight over Berwick’s past statements.
(Among other impolitic utterings, Berwick has said he “is romantic about the NHS,” the UK’s oft-maligned nationalized health system, and believes “excellent health care is by definitional redistributional.”)
Maybe the Administration didn’t have the stomach for another partisan health care reform battle. Maybe it didn’t feel confident in its ability to defend Don Berwick’s contention that rationing should not be the boogeyman of health care policy. Maybe vulnerable Congressional Democrats successfully lobbied for a recess appointment, eager to avoid a contentious confirmation hearing that would bring health care reform to the fore just ahead of this fall’s election. Most likely, it was all of these things.
Today, Roll Call reports that TheOne is sending Berwick’s name up for a confirmation hearing.
This should be interesting. It should also be a slam dunk 41 votes against Berwick. For once, Time is absolutely right about Berwick. He’s radioactive. And he’s exactly the kind of socialist tool that the Republicans should be teeing up for a home run with respect to the November elections. This has the taste of a total victory, unless Republican Senators are able to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Will somebody please send Lindsey Graham on an extended vacation to Katmandu please. Dr. Death Panel supports, and in clear single syllable words, the following:
- Death panels. That would be government mandated and controlled rationing.
- Britian’s National Health Service as the model for health care.
- Government managed, single payer health care.
- And then there’s his $2.3MM salary as CEO of a “non-profit” health care organization.
- And the deal he cut with IHI to receive lifetime health insurance for himself and his wife so he doesn’t have to use ObamaCare or worry about facing a Death Panel himself.
That should be more than enough fodder for starters. I’m guessing there will be lots more stuff turn up, there always is with this administration. Hey, I wonder if he’s paid his Federal Income Taxes?