Wanted: Harvard educated, ration-promoting, redistributor of wealth to serve as the President’s appointee for Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Must have an academic approach to problem solving. Must be willing and able to run healthcare system through Washington. Must support a strong degree of bureaucratic control over questions of life and death. Congressional hearing not necessary, approval will be provided by POTUS through yet another example of lack of transparency. Those looking to cut spending need not apply. Those who believe costs can be cut in the private sector, through increased competition and choice by allocating more resources efficiently, also, need not apply.
It appears the President has found the perfect candidate for his job opening in Donald Berwick.
Berwick, 63, is a pediatrician, Harvard University professor and leader of a health care nonprofit organization, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which works to develop and implement concepts for improving patient care. So far, so good. Then, he opens his mouth, and stuff like this comes out…
“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.”
Or this gem, in a speech given in London extolling the virtues of their state-run health care system…
“It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can. I do not agree…In the US, competition has become toxic…Trust transparency; trust the wisdom of the informed public; but, do not trust market forces to give you the system you need…but, 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.”
This is a man who has taken the core principles of this country – the American Dream and individual freedom – and tossed them aside in favor of a paternalistic (and seemingly omniscient) federal government. How can we entrust a man with such a fundamentally different version of America with the power to implement large portions of the new healthcare law? Moreover, how can we give him the authority to run the largest entity in the federal health care system – totaling nearly $1 trillion?
Instead of letting Americans control their own healthcare dollars, see prices, and shop for value, Berwick advocates an approach modeled after Great Britain’s National Health Services. He prefers the government to decide which care people will get and which they won’t. He assumes that markets don’t work and people can’t understand. His worst, and most dangerous, assumption is that rationing is the only way to achieve an efficient health care system. In his words,
“The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
Unfortunately, by using a recess-appointment to promote Berwick, this “open and honest” administration will prevent Berwick from having to explain his highly questionable views before the American people. Moreover, as the New York Times reports,
“The recess appointment was somewhat unusual because the Senate is in recess for less than two weeks and senators were still waiting for Dr. Berwick to submit responses to some of their requests for information.”
In his latest attempt at political gamesmanship, the President has won. Berwick is now the head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid. Where there are winners, there are also losers. That would be us, the everyday Americans, who look on helplessly as President Obama continues to stock Washington with far-Left liberals. We will not be helpless forever. You can guarantee we will stand up and speak out come November.
by Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee