Be scared of new Medicare czar

July 15, 2010

All Lake Forester readers, seniors or not, must become acquainted with Dr. Donald Berwick, the health-care rationing czar whose recess appointment on July 8 elevated him to head of the federal Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs.

Although Dr. Berwick is a pediatrician, he has not seen a patient in years. Further, the two Harvard professors positions attributed to Berwick are but honorary professorships.

A defender of Britain’s health care rationing system and single-payer health care, Dr. Berwick served as a consultant to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which utilizes an end-of-life pathway to death many British doctors say leads to premature death. Dr. Berwick has said that “Most people who have serious pain do not need advanced methods, they just need the morphine and counseling that have been around for centuries.”

If this isn’t scary enough, Dr. Berwick opposes consumer-focused solutions to health care problems, believing that for health care funding to be “just, equitable, civilized, and humane it must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate.”

Upon further examination, Medicare has been without an administrator since 2006. It was not until April of this year that President Obama nominated Dr. Berwick to the CMS position. In that Berwick has not returned Senators’ written questionnaires, nor will he have to go through the normal confirmation process which would replay the acrimonious health care debate on the Senate floor, Dr. Berwick’s confessed love affair with the British Health Care System will remain under the radar for senior citizens and other Americans.

Most frightening is that Dr. Donald Berwick, in his recess appointment, will serve until the end of 2011 with views that are consistent with the Obama administration policy. This makes a mockery of Obama’s promise of transparency.

Let State Sen. Susan Garrett, State Rep. Karen May, and senators Durban and Burris know what you think and how the wool is not being pulled over your eyes.

 

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