Commander in Hiding


How much of a majority in congress would the Obama administration want before it would have been willing to put Donald Berwick through the nominating process? There is no majority big enough!

A recess appointment should be a last step in cases of egregious delay, not one of the first. That standard was nowhere near met in Berwick’s case. Berwick was nominated to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 19, less than three months ago. He had not yet had a hearing. His committee vetting wasn’t complete.

Berwick is an Obama style socialist – not a fact that the president wants revealed about a man he’s appointing to implement the new health care tragedy. So he didn’t let him go through the approval hearings of congress. Instead, he misused the recess appointment process.

And as a matter of good government, the president’s move to snub the Senate and install Berwick by recess appointment was outrageous. Using — more accurately, abusing — this mechanism to make appointments during a Senate recess is a bipartisan temptation. All presidents succumb, and Obama is facing a more implacably recalcitrant Senate minority. Yet the original purpose of recess appointments was to let government function during the long stretches with Congress away, but that’s water under the constitutional bridge.

Why the need to hide Berwick from the American people? There’s an election coming up in November, and the president, like all Democrats, needs to keep his true beliefs hidden from the American people in order to get votes. Berwick, for example, is pro-rationing:

Dr. Berwick has spoken and written approvingly about how nations such as England use health economists and aloof metrics like “quality-adjusted life years” to contain costs and ration health care.  England’s National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence (“NICE”) applies ”comparative effectiveness research” (“CER”) and a complex formula to recommend for or against national health care expenditures.

In an ode to the socialized system in England, Berwick has spoken harshly of the effect of private enterprise on health care, and glowingly of the power of politicians and bureaucrats in making health care decisions.

You could have protected the wealthy and the well, instead of recognizing that sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker, and that any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must – must – redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate. Excellent healthcare is by definition redistribution. Britain, you chose well…

In his praise of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), Berwick referred to the “darkness of private enterprise,” as if the decisions made in the concrete jungle of Washington are made with transparency.

You could have let an unaccountable system play out in the darkness of private enterprise instead of accepting that a politically accountable system must act in the harsh and, admittedly, sometimes very unfair, daylight of the press, public debate, and political campaigning. You could have a monstrous insurance industry of claims, and rules, and paper-pushing, instead of using your tax base to provide a single route of finance.

The Democrats don’t believe in the American system, and none believes in it less than the president. That’s why he must sneak around implementing that which he believes, in a race to kidnap America before voters learn what his true agenda is.

So, you could have had a simpler, less ambitious, less troubled plan than the NHS. You could have had the American plan…. You could have obscured – you could have obliterated – accountability, or left it to the invisible hand of the market, instead of holding your politicians ultimately accountable for getting the NHS sorted.

So the president hides.

One Response to “Commander in Hiding”

  1. 1 Ilene

    Okay, is there enough evidence to send in the Marines?

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