President Obama, by way of a recess appointment, appointed Dr. Donald Berwick, age 63, this week as the administrator of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a post that has been vacant since 2006. Dr. Berwick is a pediatrician and a professor at the Harvard Medical School. He is also the president and CEO of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a not-for-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, working to improve healthcare in the US and throughout the world.
His supporters, which include the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the AARP, AFL-CIO and many health organizations, say that he is an expert, dedicated to improving health care quality and safety while at the same cutting cost. His critics say Dr. Berwick is a proponent of rationing healthcare and loves the socialized British National Health System.
Liberals and conservatives are butting heads (so, what else is new) that this Obama appointment was done while the Senate was in recess thereby by-passing the senate confirmation process until the end 2011. Liberals are saying that this important appointment just can’t wait. Conservatives are saying Obama shouldn’t have bypassed the senate confirmation process.
For the official White House announcement click here.