Friday, July 02, 2010

Professional groups issue letter in support of Donald Berwick's nomination

It reads in part:

"Specifically, it has been suggested that Dr. Berwick is an advocate of health care rationing and that he in some way supports the government making health care decisions that should be made by patients and their doctors," the letter stated. "This misrepresentation does a disservice to Dr. Berwick, who has a long history of as a leader in promoting patient-centered care."

That paragraph, except for the part about patient-centered care, is itself a misrepresentation. Who are the signatories?

Signatories to the letter included the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, the American College of Physicians, the National Business Coalition on Health, Wal-Mart Stores, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, the AFL-CIO, Consumers Union, and the Alzheimer's Association.

That's simply amazing. They can't have read his article in Health Affairs or listened to his speech about the NHS. Or know about his statement that EBM may have to take a back seat. Or that he supports non-science based CAM.

But beyond all that, these supporters, as well as Berwick's detractors, miss the real point:
Berwick's stand on health care is incoherent. He supports rationing, socialized medicine and radical consumerism all at the same time. Those elements are incompatible anywhere in the world, but especially in the U.S.

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