Obama to Tap Berwick With Recess Appt. to Head Medicare-Medicaid

July 7, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Dr. Donald Berwick, a renowned Harvard Medical School professor and universally hailed choice by industry experts to lead the Medicare and Medicaid programs, should sail through the nomination process in the Senate, right? No, not in this toxic political climate, in which Republicans have obstructed and taken the filibuster to unprecedented lengths, resulting in a 60-vote super majority needed for even the most benign motions. Dr. Berwick nominated in April, has been the target of Republican smears, as they intend to make his nomination hearings a referendum against the healthcare reform law and stall it into infinity. The Obama administration, tired of the partisan GOP obstructionism, has decided to appoint Dr. Berwick to his post with a recess appointment, as early as Wednesday.

After his appointment, Dr. Berwick will become the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has been without a permanent head for four-years. A capable and visionary leader is needed at the helm to advance the policies of the new healthcare law:

“Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, said the “recess appointment” was needed to carry out the new health care law. The law calls for huge changes in the two programs, which together insure nearly one-third of all Americans.”

“Mr. Pfeiffer said the president would appoint Dr. Berwick on Wednesday. Mr. Obama decided to act because “many Republicans in Congress have made it clear in recent weeks that they were going to stall the nomination as long as they could, solely to score political points,” Mr. Pfeiffer said.

Dr. Berwick’s recess appointment will remain in effect until the end of 2011.

Photo Source: Harvard School of Public Health


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