Kitzhaber’s friend Don Berwick steps down

by NW Spotlight

Yesterday was Dr. Don Berwick’s last day as the top administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Boston Globe reported that “Berwick was a controversial figure among Republicans mainly because of his praise for Britain’s single-payer system, which raised the specter among the GOP of socialized medicine as the Obama administration began rolling out federal health care legislation.”

President Obama side-stepped Senate approval using a recess appointment back in July 2010, earning the controversial Dr. Berwick the nickname “Obama’s health care czar”.

Berwick has been an evangelist for redistribution of wealth as the basis for “excellent healthcare”. He made these comments on the 60th anniversary of Britain’s National Health Service: “…any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must – must – redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate. Excellent healthcare is by definition redistribution.” (click here for transcript)

Don Berwick is a colleague and friend of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. Governor Kitzhaber speaks of his admiration for “The Triple Aim“, developed by Dr. Don Berwick.

Berwick will be replaced by Marilyn Tavenner, who is going through the normal Senate confirmation process.