ABC News reports:
In announcing the recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — and two other nominees — today President Obama said in a statement that “It’s unfortunate that at a time when our nation is facing enormous challenges, many in Congress have decided to delay critical nominations for political purposes.”
That claim is reasonably true for the other two nominees given recess appointments today. [Although it was Democrats, not Republicans, holding up Sherrod Brown] . . . But it’s not the case with Berwick, whose recess appointment is getting most of the attention.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., echoed the president’s suggestion, saying that “Republican lockstep stalling of Don’s nomination was a case study in cynicism and one awful example of how not to govern.”
But Republicans were not delaying or stalling Berwick’s nomination. Indeed, they were eager for his hearing, hoping to assail Berwick’s past statements about health care rationing and his praise for the British health care system. . .
[Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa] said that he “requested that a hearing take place two weeks ago, before this recess.” . . .
But speaking not for attribution, Democratic officials say that neither Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., nor Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, were eager for an ugly confirmation fight four months before the midterm elections.
The Democrats didn’t want to defend this guy in a public hearing, so they skipped it and gave him a recess appointment instead. Wow.
ASIDE: Let not miss the fact that President Obama and John Kerry are outright lying about the Berwick nomination being stalled.
Why were the Republicans so eager for the Berwick hearing? Because the president’s nominee to run Medicare is the poster child for health care rationing:
The decision is not whether or not we will ration care—the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.
That’s right, the man Obama put in charge of health care for the elderly is a big fan of rationing. Democrats were rightfully afraid that a public hearing on Berwick would expose his views to the public, and the public might draw a connection to Obamacare.
More on Berwick’s disdain for American health care here.