Obamacare – Why Donald Berwick is Dangerous to Your Health
Now that the 2400 page boot-to-the-face obamacare legislation has passed, someone needs to take the administrative reigns to run our health care system into the ground. Our dear comrade leader has nominated one Donald Berwick for this important position. According to this story (from RCP), Mr. Berwick is dangerous to our health.
President Obama’s nomination of Donald Berwick M.D. to head HHS’s Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) eliminates any lingering doubt he seeks to impose state-run medicine and a European style health care system on America. But before Dr Berwick gets an official nod of approval for the federal government’s most important health care appointment — the CMS covers over 100 million Americans, has an annual $800 billion budget that is larger than the defense department’s and is the 2nd largest insurance company in the world, the US Senate may want to consider the nominee’s remarkable and quite literal attachment to the socialist health-care model.
Dr. Berwick loves the failed British health care model and is quite vocal about it.
“I am romantic about the NHS. I love it.” Dr Berwick says about probably the best-known case of socialized medicine — Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). “All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at healthcare in my own country,” he says about a US health care system that is “bloated,” runs in “the darkness of private enterprise,” and has “tremendous excess capacity.”
Rationing — Dr Berwick uses the “r” word himself — is why he much prefers the “politically accountable” British system. About Britain’s rationing board, The National Institute for Clinical Health Excellence (NICE), Dr Berwick says: “NICE is not just a national treasure; it is a global treasure”
In using “quality adjusted life years” per British pound to make treatment decisions, NICE mandates that Britain cannot afford to spend, except in unusual cases, more than $22,000 to extend a life 6 months. But despite its Orwellian acronym and properly polite British exterior, NICE harbors a deep bureaucratic aversion to extended care for the elderly and those with chronic disease, an approach which Dr. Berwick explicitly endorses.
“The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80% of the total health care bill out there. There is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
In addition to rationing, Dr. Berwick also believes strongly in the wealth redistribution aspects of the British system – something our dear comrade leader no doubt finds attractive as well.
“Any healthcare funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent healthcare is by definition redistributional”.
Indeed, lest there be any doubt about the range of Dr Berwick’s schemes for “redistribution” – code for transferring power to the government — he makes clear how grand his vision for statist health care.
“There needs to be global budget caps on total healthcare spending for designated populations (ie-rationing)” Dr. Berwick says. “The simplest way to reach these goals is with a single payer system.”
This is some pretty scary stuff. Gird your loins folks – if this guy’s nomination is approved, we’re in for some rough times.