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Obama Appoints Controversial Healthcare Official While Congress Is On Recess

July 12, 2010 by  

Obama appoints controversial healthcare official while Congress is on recess In an effort to sidestep the mandated Senate confirmation process, the White House has announced that President Obama will appoint Donald Berwick as the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services while Congress is on recess.

Bypassing the confirmation hearing will allow the Obama administration to avoid a contentious debate over Berwick’s past support of the UK’s Federally-run healthcare system and his positive portrayal of healthcare rationing, according to USA Today.

"This recess appointment is an insult to the American people," said Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). "Berwick is a self-professed supporter of rationing healthcare, and he won’t even have to explain his views to the American people in a congressional hearing."

Many political pundits have suggested that the recess appointment is an attempt by Obama to prevent Republicans from reopening the debate over healthcare reform, which many conservative leaders are still trying to get repealed.

"With the agency facing new responsibilities to protect seniors’ care under the Affordable Care Act, there’s no time to waste with Washington game-playing,"’ said Obama’s communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

Berwick was nominated by President Obama in April, however no confirmation hearing had been scheduled as of July 6, Fox News reports. Although the 63-year-old pediatrician can assume his post immediately, Obama will be forced to re-nominate him in January.

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