What kind of benevolent dictator would declare his love for Britain’s stingy, depressing, complicated, cold and arbitrary National Health Service by describing it as “generous, hopeful, confident, joyous and just”?
That would be Harvard-based pediatrician Donald Berwick, who recently received a recess appointment as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by the benevolent dictator who describes his pessimistic and stale vision for America as “hope and change.”
Recess appointments are an executive procedure used, for better or for worse, when the Senate gives a presidential appointee a difficult time during confirmation hearings—for example, when they filibuster a nominee. Obama’s appointment of Berwick bears the distinction of having been given without a confirmation hearing having even been scheduled.
It’s as though Obama decided that the very requirement that his nominee appear before a Democratic-controlled Senate constituted an unreasonably difficult hurdle. This isn’t a recess appointment—it’s a vacation to Bermuda appointment.
As the Wall Street Journal noted, “Circumventing Senate confirmation to appoint the new Medicare chief is part of the same political willfulness that inflicted ObamaCare on the country despite the objections of most voters.” CBS News observed, “The debate over Berwick’s recess appointment makes clear what the White House knew all too well—Berwick may not have survived the Senate confirmation process, which would have turned into a proxy debate over health care reform.” read more »