Healthcare

Medicare Czar Flees ‘Rationing’ Query

After Donald Berwick’s controversial recess appointment to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), his allies claimed that he was preparing a “point-by-point” rebuttal to his critics. Berwick does have a lot of explaining to do, after all.

He’s publically romanticized Britain’s government-run healthcare and is on the record arguing that most cities should ration the “number of centers engaging” in “cardiac surgery,” “neonatal intensive care” and “cancer care.”

It’s been three months now since his recess appointment, and still no word from the new CMS director. In fact, Berwick hasn’t granted any interviews, refuses to testify before Congress, and doesn’t take any questions at public events.

To put this in perspective, Donald Berwick oversees the healthcare spending for one-in-three Americans and, as the New York Times put it, “has a budget bigger than the Pentagon’s.”

And yet he remains mum. Human Events recently caught up with Berwick after a Washington, D.C., event, and asked him if he’s still a proponent of government bureaucrats deciding who gets treated and who doesn’t. He fled to his car, hiding behind a security detail:

Senate Republicans, led by Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley, sent a letter to Berwick’s office requesting that he testify before Congress to answer questions on his affection for rationing and how he plans to implement the 2,700-page healthcare law, which includes more than $500 billion in reductions in Medicare spending.

Hopefully they have better luck getting Berwick to talk than we did.

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