Head of Obamacare Installed Without Senate Approval

On Wednesday President Obama appointed Dr. Donald Berwick to be in charge of Medicare and Medicaid, a position which will have Berwick overseeing the implementation of Obamacare. Obama filled the position while the Senate is in recess, therefore avoiding any Republican opposition. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) is quoted by Fox News as saying "This recess appointment is an insult to the American people...Dr. Berwick is a self professed supporter of rationing healthcare, and he won't even have to explain his views to the American people in a Congressional hearing."

 

Criticism that Berwick supports rationing healthcare stems from Berwick's own support of the British healthcare system. British Columnist Janet Daly of Telegraph.co.uk criticizes Berwick for his "passion" for "some of the most discredited features of our [British Healthcare System]." According to Daly, the last thing that the U.S. should do is copy the failed rationing of treatments and the strictly enforced price ceilings of Great Britain. Daly writes:

In Britain, we have maintained a perverse ideological insistence on the principle that it is better to have rationed, centrally controlled, uniformly dispensed health care even if it is poorer in every sense – in terms of resources, productivity, and medical outcomes – than that in which individuals routinely contribute to the cost of their own care. The ban on what is called co-payment, or top-ups, is intended to ensure that no NHS patient will have access to better – or more – treatment than anyone else simply because he is wealthier. We prefer a uniformly mediocre standard of care to an “unfair” one in which the better-off may get different service.

According to Daly, the United States' future should lie with a combination of public and private care. She concludes her article by stating "that is a lesson that both Britain and the US – coming from polar opposite ends of the debate – need to accept. Abandoning hidebound dogma is now a matter of life and death." Let's hope The Administration learns this lesson soon. After Fox broke the story the White House released a statement saying that the U.S. would not be implementing British Style Healthcare.

 

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