Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Donald Berwick Has Insurance for Life: Berwick's Real Recess Appointment Story

Obama's czar of Medicare and Medicaid, Donald Berwick, thinks it is just so sweet that your health care will be rationed, but much, much sweeter that he personally will never have to worry about health care for himself or his wife. Berwick's Institute for Health Care Improvement, a "non-profit health care charitable organization" of his own creation, has conferred lifetime health care for him and the Mrs.

Donald Berwick
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Consider the missions of Berwick's "non-profit health care charity:

1)  building "the will for change"
2) "cultivate promising concepts"
3) "helping health care systems put those ideas into action

Obama appointed Berwick to his lofty postion in a recess-appointment, but only after the Democrat Senate failed to schedule a confirmation hearing. Or maybe there was another reason: Byron York says Senator Charles Grassley, on behalf of the Senate Finance Committee, began asking questions about Berwick's "non-profit charity." That's when Obama made the recess-appointment. The Senate confirmation of a presidential nominee is essential to the tenets of the U.S. Constitution. When the Senate is blocked in their decision, Presidents do make recess appointments, but Berwick's confirmation didn't even make it to the Senate.

From Byron York at The Examiner:
As it turns out, Berwick himself does not have to deal with the anxieties created by limited access to care and the extent of coverage. In a special benefit conferred on him by the board of directors of the Institute for Health Care Improvement, a nonprofit health care charitable organization he created and which he served as chief executive officer, Berwick and his wife will have health coverage "from retirement until death."
In 2008, the "non-profit charity" Berwick took home $2.3 million in compensation, excluding the health care for life, $637,006 in 2007 and $585,008 in 2006.

In Berwick's recent speech to the British National Health Service, Berwick said "I am romantic about the NHS; I love it. Read the transcript here.

The Institute for Health Care Improvement claims a mission to health care improvement by building "the will for change, cultivating promising concepts" for patient care, "and helping health care systems put those ideas in action."
It has about 110 employees and net assets of $49.5 million, according to its 2008 filing with the IRS. (2008 is the most recent year for which such filings are publicly available.) A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, the Institute reported receiving $12.2 million in contributions and grants in '08, as well as $27.4 million in revenue from its various programs.
Daniel Henniger in the Wall Street Journal says:
Berwick's "ideas on the design and purpose of the U.S. system of medicine aren't merely about change. They would be revolutionary.
"Revolutionary," yes, but not in a good way. Henninger gives numerous Berwick quotes you should know about. Here are a three:
Indeed, the Holy Grail of universal coverage in the United States may remain out of reach unless, through rational collective action overriding some individual self-interest, we can reduce per capita costs." 
"For-profit, entrepreneurial providers of medical imaging, renal dialysis, and outpatient surgery, for example, may find their business opportunities constrained."

I would place a commitment to excellence—standardization to the best-known method—above clinician autonomy as a rule for care." 
"Autonomy" is important to Berwick, but not your autonomy, or your doctor's autonomy. Berwick's autonomy lies completely with the government. The question is, what are we going to do about this man?

Linked by The Lonely Conservative - Thank you, Karen

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton