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Healthcare Bypass

The longer President Obama is in office, the more he resembles the mirror image of former President Bush. Following yet again in his predecessor’s footsteps, Obama has made a recess apointment to fill the position of administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In case you’re not familiar with what a recess appointment is, it’s basically a way for the President to circumvent Congress when the appointee is a controversial one. President Bush used the tactic and now Obama is doing the same.

The President’s choice is none other than Dr. Donald Berwick, a Harvard professor and patient care specialist. The appointment is controversial because Berwick has been rather outspoken about the necessity of the rationing of healthcare.

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.

Though the concerns of Republicans about the rationing of healthcare were largely laughed off during the recent healthcare reform debate, this appointment brings those same concerns back to the surface and gives them far more credibility.  This prompts conservative lawmakers to claim that healthcare decisions could be made based on cost, a rather slippery slope that we shouldn’t be going down. Liberals claim that rationing already exists and that we just need to get over it because this would provide the opportunity for more oversight and transparency in the process.

Now, the administration may claim that it was necessary to make the appointment immediately because it’s such an important position to assist in overseeing the new changes to healthcare law in this country. However, most of those changes are still to be made in the next few years and the post has been vacant since 2006 anyway, so it seems that claim is specious at best.

Consider the answers given by Robert Gibbs to some questions posed by a White House reporter concerning Berwick’s comments about rationing care and redistribution of wealth. Following is a video about Berwick and his beliefs concerning healthcare. The portion with the reporter’s comments and Gibbs’ answers starts around the 1:58 mark. Gibbs, of course, never answers the question and eventually attempts to turn the tables on the reporter.

Gibbs pulls the same old tricks…First, it’s all about the healthcare of the people being the important thing. That didn’t work, so he pulled the ol’ switcheroo by blaming those nasty, evil conservatives. You know, of course, that all they want to do is make the rich richer and the poor poorer? It’s those evil minions of Satan who want poor, African-American, paraplegic, mildly mentally challenged children between the ages of 3 and 11 to die tragically from an unknown infectious disease purposely spread by the U.S. government in an obviously racist attempt at exterminating Democratic voters.

Berwick will eventually be voted on. Most likely, however, the fervor over his socialist views will have died down enough by then that he will be confirmed. Here’s to hoping that isn’t the case, though.


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