Friday, November 25, 2011

Donald Berwick to step down as CMS leader

Berwick, who once said evidence based medicine may have to “take a back seat,” has decided to take a back seat himself rather than face confirmation hearings in the Senate as Republicans remain determined to block his nomination. For many of them the problem is their perception of Berwick as a Marxist. For me it was his incoherence---advocating for more central control on the one hand while favoring an agenda of radical consumerism on the other. The Fox News piece gives us a sample of the double talk (my emphasis):

"I abhor rationing. My entire life has been spent fighting rationing. There's no substance whatsoever to the substance of that," Berwick told the House Ways and Means Committee in February 2011…

The decision is not whether or not we will ration care ... the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.

Berwick had big and interesting ideas. If there was a unifying thread in them I couldn’t find it.