Obama’s Health Care Rationing Czar

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There is an interesting article in CNSNews about Obama’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald Berwick, who reveals his passion for central planning and all things socialized.The article links to a June 2009 interview with Berwick in Biotechnology Healthcare. Some snippets from the article:

In a June 2009 interview in Biotechnology Healthcare, Berwick was asked: “Critics of CER (Comparative Effectiveness Research) have said that it will lead to rationing of health care.”

He answered: “We can make a sensible social decision and say, ‘Well, at this point, to have access to a particular additional benefit [new drug or medical intervention] is so expensive that our taxpayers have better use for those funds.’ We make those decisions all the time. The decision is not whether or not we will ration care—the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

In the same interview, he also said, “The social budget is limited—we have a limited resource pool. It makes terribly good sense to at least know the price of an added benefit, and at some point we might say nationally, regionally, or locally that we wish we could afford it, but we can’t.”

Berwick also talked about his romantic view of Britain’s socialized health care system on page 213 of a report he wrote entitled, “A Transatlantic Review of the NHS at 60,” published on July 26, 2008.

“Cynics beware: I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it,” Berwick wrote. “All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country.”

Lastly, in the 2008 report, Berwick wrote, “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.” Here is the 2008 speech where Berwick talks about the “darkness of private enterprise” and lauds a politically accountable system. He adds that “excellent health care is, by definition, redistributional.” Hat tip to Mark Fee for the article.

7:46 pm on May 24, 2010