The GOP has refused to allow President Obama’s Medicare/Medicaid program head to even get a vote in the Senate, threatening to filibuster every attempt, and that means a year after his recess appointment, Donald Berwick is out. Brian Beutler:
In reality Berwick is a casualty of the ongoing partisan fight over social insurance. Nominally this is the fight over “deficits” and “debt”, but much more accurately it’s a dispute about the nature of key safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and, soon, the new health care law. The irony is that Berwick is best known, and widely respected, for his academic work on making the U.S. health care system more efficient — i.e. how to save people, businesses, and the government money, and simultaneously improve patient care. If the continuing fight over deficits was really about deficits, Berwick would have broad, bipartisan support to continue his work. Instead his curtailed tenure serves as an illustration of the fact that the fight about budget deficits doesn’t really have anything to do with deficits at all.
More importantly, Berwick actually proving that the basic tenets of the new health care law could actually work would be a disaster for the GOP. If it’s allowed to work, Republicans are toast. They know this, so “Obamacare” has to fail before 2014 and the system kicks into full throttle. The opposition to it is driving their base and they want to manufacture as much outrage as possible between now and next November.
It was a “national crisis” when Berwick was appointed in the first place, remember?