By Chuck Rogér
President Obama’s head of Medicare and Medicaid, the contemptible Dr. Donald Berwick, crawled out of his Beltway cave a few weeks ago to testify at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee. My hearing coverage notes got buried in a stack of stuff during the recent Clear Thinking website redesign. So this article is a bit late, but still worth posting.
I have discussed Berwick before (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) and do not want to lose track of this arrogant and dangerous man. (Clear Thinking has a category of archives applicable to Berwick. Click “Donald Berwick” on the “Categories” sidebar.)
In his February 18, 2011 testimony, Berwick showed how low left-wing “intellectuals” are willing to sink in order to push enlightened nonsense on the unclean masses. Berwick told lie after lie in statements which directly conflict with his previously documented positions.
- Responding to a question regarding past statements advocating health care rationing, the Harvard elitist claimed, “I abhor rationing…. My entire life has been spent fighting rationing.” Yet in 2009, Berwick stated, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care—the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
- Berwick evaded a question about his “love” for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) by offering an unrelated non-statement: “There are strengths and weaknesses in every health care system around the world, and they have a lot to learn from each other, but the American health care system needs an American solution.” Yet, in 2008, Berwick had matter-of-factly declared, “I am romantic about the NHS; I love it. All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country.”
- When queried for his opinion on market competition in health care, Berwick said, “Competition certainly has a place in our health care system…” But in 2008, Berwick urged UK officials to not “put your faith in market forces. It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can. I do not agree. I find little evidence anywhere that… consumer choice among an array of products with competitors’ fighting it out leads to the health care system you want and need.”
- When pressed about health care market competition, Berwick told the House Ways and Means Committee, “It’s the American way to excellence in many forms.” Back in 2008, Berwick had vehemently complained that in America, “competition has become toxic; it is a major reason for our duplicative, supply-driven, fragmented care system.”
Such cavalier dishonesty illustrates the deep-seated contempt that Donald Berwick has for truth. The doctor harbors scorn for anyone who waves truth before his eyes or speaks truth into his ears as he sells high-minded lies.
This Berwick character is now running America’s largest medical entitlement programs. The man has expressed his true intentions for those programs many times. And Berwick will continue to lie each time he is asked to publicly explain his intentions.
Meanwhile, in the bowels of Medicare and Medicaid, plans are being hatched. It is a fair bet that the plans align with Donald Berwick’s past-stated sentiments capturing his love affair with a British system that denies care to people who need it. The uglification of Medicare and Medicaid underway almost surely does not align with the sugar-coated, arrogance-infused lies that Donald Berwick told members of the US House of Representatives on February 18, 2011.