An email from the Republican Policy Committee informed last night that President Obama intends a recess appointment today of Don Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a move to sidestep what would most certainly be an ugly confirmation process.
Berwick is a big fan of Britain’s health care rationing, which leans most heavily on rationing of healthcare for the elderly for cost savings. Berwick has openly stated in a healthcare journal that we should ration healthcare “with our eyes open.”
As HUMAN EVENTS Michelle Oddis recently reported:
“Berwick, nominated to head Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has never tried to hide his obsession with socialized medicine. He even published an op-ed in the Washington Post in 1992 where he stated he was “in love” with Britain’s National Health Service.
He called the British system—that many here in the US refer to as “free for all, but worthless to many”—a “seductress” about which he is “romantic.”
From the Republican Policy Committee email:
Earlier this evening the White House posted a blog message stating that tomorrow the President will provide a recess appointment to Don Berwick, the President’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The post decried “Washington game-playing” and claimed that “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.”
In this context, it’s worth pointing out that Democrats never called a hearing on Dr. Berwick’s nomination. Republicans have no ability to “stall the nomination” in committee — and nothing prevented the majority from calling a hearing, or voting to report the nomination out of committee. They chose to do neither.
Second, CMS is one of the largest agencies in the federal government. This fiscal year, it will disburse $803 billion in benefits — making CMS larger than all but 15 of the world’s economies. And of course, its responsibilities will only grow under the health care law, as the CMS Administrator will be responsible for implementing more than $500 billion in savings from the Medicare program, and an unprecedented expansion of Medicaid as well. Yet both Republicans and Democrats will be denied any opportunity to question Dr. Berwick about how he plans to implement the law, and manage CMS, because the President decided to make a recess appointment before the confirmation process began in earnest.
It’s nearly unprecedented for an Administration to recess appoint a nominee that has not even come up for a hearing. It’s unfortunate that President Obama saw fit to take this extraordinary step and appoint an individual charged with overseeing a benefits budget larger than the economies of Denmark, South Africa, and Israel combined without so much as a hearing to examine his views. And it’s doubly unfortunate that the Administration apparently views any attempt to scrutinize someone appointed to manage an $800 billion budget as “Washington game-playing.”
The Senate is in recess for the 4th of July holiday break. Obama plans to recess appoint Berwick today to allow him to craft the new Medicare system — that includes over $500 billion in cuts passed by Congress — without a Senate confirmation hearing for the public to examine how he plans to do just that.