When he takes control of Medicare and Medicaid, Don Berwick will begin to implement his vision of a more centralized, government-run health care system. This viewpoint is at the heart of ObamaCare, with the aim of putting Washington in charge of all health care decision-making. “Such a command-and-control vision is widespread among America’s technocratic medical left, but it is also increasingly anachronistic amid today’s breakneck medical progress. There isn’t a single ‘ideal model’ in a world of treatments tailored to the genetic patterns of specific cancers, or for the artificial pancreas for individual diabetics, or other innovations that are increasingly common.”
One of the consequences of President Obama’s recess appointment of Dr. Berwick is that he will completely avoid any scrutiny of his views on government rationing of care, especially end-of-life care. “Grassley had asked for information pertaining to sources of funding for Berwick’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement; he had also asked whether ‘Berwick had ever received funding from, been a member of, consulted with or for, or been associated in any way with Compassion and Choices, formerly known as The Hemlock Society,’ which advocates for patients’ right to choose euthanasia.”
“Some have speculated that the White House chose to make the recess appointment because the answers to some of those questions might cause some problems for the nomination or the administration. Perhaps. But it seems more likely that the primary motivation for the recess appointment was to avoid a clear and transparent fight over the merits of the competing visions of health care reform. Dr. Berwick is an unvarnished governmentalist of the first order. The debate over his nomination would have been the perfect opportunity to present clearly to the public the consequences of handing over so much power in the health sector to the federal government.”
“As events are now unfolding, the Massachusetts plan couldn’t be a more damning indictment of ObamaCare. The state’s universal health-care prototype is growing more dysfunctional by the day, which is the inevitable result of a health system dominated by politics.”
“Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus and Senator Grassley have for some time been asking Dr. Berwick to disclose the list of donors to his foundation. In the eleven weeks since he was nominated he has not yet done so. Recess appointments are not quite routine, but they are Constitutional and are an ugly reality of how things sometimes work in Washington. Yet the timing and manner of Dr. Berwick’s recess appointment are clear process fouls by the Obama Administration. In this case the President is using the recess appointment power not to work around a filibuster as claimed, but to avoid disclosing information that is potentially relevant to Dr. Berwick’s service, to avoid an unpleasant reprise of the health care debate, and because it’s convenient for the Administration.”
Those on Medicaid are more likely than the uninsured to visit the emergency room. Given that ObamaCare assumes substantial cost savings from reduced ER visits after people who were previously uninsured become covered by Medicaid, its cost increases will likely be substantially higher than anticipated by the Administration.
The only medical doctors in the Senate, John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tom Coburn (R-OK,) released “Bad Medicine,” a report on the 100th day of ObamaCare. It highlights the hidden costs and problems with the bill. “One of the most startling assertions in the Coburn/Barrasso report – which was obtained ahead of its release by The Daily Caller – is that nearly 100 million Americans will lose their current form of health insurance and will be required to obtain more expensive plans. One of the president’s most constant refrains in selling his health bill was that if Americans liked what they had, they could keep it.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) was one of the principle architects of ObamaCare. His committee has oversight over the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and he was waiting to receive materials from Dr. Don Berwick, the nominee to run CMS. But before Baucus’s committee received a reply or held a hearing, Obama made a recess appointment, infuriating the powerful Democrat. “’Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power and protects Montanans and all Americans by ensuring that crucial questions are asked of the nominee — and answered,’ Baucus said in a statement.”