BREAKING!!: Obama Uses Recess to Appoint Administrator of Death Panels & Rationing!11!!!1!1
Or at least that’s what the Republicans would like us to think.
In April, President Obama nominated Dr. Donald Berwick to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 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.
But with the agency facing new responsibilities to protect seniors’ care under the Affordable Care Act, there’s no time to waste with Washington game-playing. That’s why tomorrow the President will use a recess appointment to put Dr. Berwick at the agency’s helm and provide strong leadership for the Medicare program without delay.
CMS has been without a permanent administrator since 2006, and even many Republicans have called on the Administration to move to quickly to name a permanent head.
He goes on to enumerate Dr. Berwick’s many qualifications for this job which are discussed in more detail by Ezra Klein. In addition to Berwick’s focus on a patient centered care system (as opposed to insurance company centered! Yay!) he is also highly conscious of the need to reduce costs and focus on successful outcomes.
But he made the *dreadful mistake* of saying in the past that he hearted the British health care system and believed that some form of rationing was necessary. ZOMG! Rationing! Socialized medicine! Can Death Panels be far behind!??!
Senate Republicans have used past quotes of Berwick—like his admission that “the decision is not whether or not we will ration care; the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open”—to hang Berwick with the dreaded rope of rationing. Mitch McConnell, who never settles for a light touch when he can find a giant stick, calls Berwick an “expert on rationing.” Of course he is. All health-care policy experts are experts on rationing. The question, as Paul Ryan told me, isn’t whether we ration, but who rations, and how.
Yes, people. Health care is rationed in this country as we speak. Not rationed to those who need it most but to those who can afford good health insurance. End of story. Berwick would like to change this model and focus on patient needs while controlling costs.
If you want to entertain yourselves with some of the over-the-top statements that Senate Republicans are putting out, you can check out this link. Needless to say there is much focus on “rationing”, jamming things down the American people’s throats and abuse of power. Is there any doubt that Republicans were going to hold up this nomination as long as possible?
Obama made the right decision to move this appointment forward. The stakes are too high to wait any longer.