What makes this appointment so controversial isn't that Dr. Berwick wouldn't have passed through the Senate confirmation process, he would have. It's that it avoids any possible questioning of this man on his opinions and views on how the Medicair/Medicaid funds should be disbursed.
Dr. Berwick is an outspoken admirer of the British and Canadian health care systems. He would like to see the same system put in place here in the US. Additionally, he has publicly stated that rationing would be necessary to make ObamaCare work...
Berwick made to an interviewer last year: "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly."
...something that White House certainly doesn't want anywhere near the airwaves as the November elections draw ever nearer. What is being used as justification is an absent threat of filibuster,
"Many Republicans have made it clear in recent weeks that they were going to stall the nomination as long as they could, solely to score political points," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a blog posting.
This is the justification used for the appointment, which is being used for the first time in on a non-controversial appointee. No one on either side of the Political spectrum has stated that Dr. Berwick isn't qualified, he is. Nor has anyone Senator from the GOP said that they would filibuster his appointment. But, there is serious constitutional concerns on the part of Senate Democrats.
Sen. Max Baucus, (D-Montana), the chairman of the Finance Committee which would have considered the Berwick nomination, said he was troubled by the recess action. "Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power ... by ensuring that crucial questions are asked of the nominee, and answered," the Democrat said.But what Mr. Obama has done is to tacitly admit that the nation is now firmly opposed to his centre piece legislation, ObamaCare, and that it is now much more likely that it will be repealed prior to it's full enactment in 2014. This is the conclusion drawn by John Podhoretz in a column in the NY Post.
Second, this is as glaring an admission as there is that Obama and his people know they've lost the public on health care. Rather than using these hearings to bolster popular support for the landmark legislation they rammed through in the spring, they can't bear to submit to public questioning about it.This is a very real possibility that grows more and more possible with each passing day.
By running away from this fight, Obama is signaling that the possibility of repealing the health-care monstrosity before it really begins to sink its teeth into the American system by 2014 is very real indeed.