How much did Don Berwick get done?
It’s no surprise to see the administration formally admit that temporary appointee Don Berwick will not be confirmed as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but it’s still a bit of a bummer. Berwick is, for good reason, a legend in health-policy circles, and both he and the Medicare and Medicaid recipients he could’ve helped deserved better than to be yanked around by the Republicans. Kate Pickert looks on the bright side:
[I]f he holds on until the end of this year, Berwick will have been at the helm of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for 17 months. This is a substantial period of time and long enough to have set a tone at CMS and to have recruited key second and third-tier administrators to work on important pieces of the Affordable Care Act. Berwick has already jump-started the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the best hope health reformers have for finding smart ways to cut health care spending. Under Berwick's tenure, the federal regulation of private insurance was also brought under the CMS mantle, a power consolidation that could have long-range implications.
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