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Posted at 6:07 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

How much did Don Berwick get done?

By Ezra Klein

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.

By Ezra Klein  | March 8, 2011; 6:07 PM ET
 
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Comments

"deserved better than to be yanked around by the Republicans."

Complete and utter BS. President Obama never made a serious attempt to seek the Senate's advice and consent, and the cowards in the Democratic party didn't want a proxy fight on Obamacare, seeing how unpopular it already is, in the lead up to the 2010 elections. To say he was yanked around by Republicans who were in the super-minority in the Senate at the time is untruth bordering on a complete lie.

Would you say the Democrats yanked around John Bolton's nomination to the UN? I doubt it, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: ChrisDC3 | March 8, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Sad news as Berwick is one of the few out there who understands what evidence-based medicine is all about. If there was any hope of moving health care in the right direction it suffered a loss with this announcement.

Posted by: agoldhammer | March 8, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"both he and the Medicare and Medicaid recipients he could’ve helped deserved better than to be yanked around by the Republicans."

I'm sorry Ezra, but the refusal of the administration to defend their nominee or subject him and his ideas on centralized management of health care to a public hearing is not being "yanked around by the Republicans". That's pretty weak.

More fundamentally, you don't "change the trajectory of the country" by refusing to put your ideas up for scrutiny or cross examination.

Posted by: jnc4p | March 8, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

the quicker we get rid of Berwick the better Let him go back to academia where he can push paper and only destroy minds of students at Harvard (which are already destroyed, the heads of Syria, Hezbollah, and Quadaffi's sons all Harvard graduates). Berwick is an elitist who has not seen or touched a patient in years and is pushing for an outdated system that is bankrupting Canada and England and is being phased out. AMF Dr. Berwick

Posted by: drjeffkunkes | March 9, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Berwick has been one of the best things that CMS and Americans have had in a long time to put in place the changes we need to fix our broken health care system. Berwick has vision, knowledge and is touch with the deficiencies of our health system and people needs.

However, Republicans as always side with insurances companies and big business, not with the real needs of our citizens.

If we follow the republican way… we surely are going down the road soon– they don’t want a fair health care system, or provide education for the poor and disadvantage, no fair labor laws, no freedom of expression, no women rights - they are not in touch with today’s world!

This marginalization push is producing a country with great gaps of the have and have nots, and in the long run, this is going to produce more poverty, health disparities, ignorance, hate, and a general decline in all economic and social areas.

Posted by: Reforma | March 9, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Berwick has been one of the best things that CMS and Americans have had in a long time to put in place the changes we need to fix our broken health care system. Berwick has vision, knowledge and is touch with the deficiencies of our health system and people needs.

However, Republicans as always side with insurances companies and big business, not with the real needs of our citizens.

If we follow the republican way… we surely are going down the road soon– they don’t want a fair health care system, or provide education for the poor and disadvantage, no fair labor laws, no freedom of expression, no women rights - they are not in touch with today’s world!

This marginalization push is producing a country with great gaps of the have and have nots, and in the long run, this is going to produce more poverty, health disparities, ignorance, hate, and a general decline in all economic and social areas.

Posted by: Reforma | March 9, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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