Berwick Dodges, GOP Parries: The Policy & Practice Podcast

The head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Dr. Donald Berwick, made his first appearance on Capitol Hill last week, but what had been expected to be a long drama dissecting the Administrator and health reform turned into a one-act play.

Berwick at Senate Finance by A. Ault

Republicans had been itching to get at Dr. Berwick, who was recess-appointed by President Obama in July. They never had a chance to vet him or go through the motions of a confirmation vote.

But the Democrats still hold the majority in the Senate and will in the next Congress, too. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) used his perogative as chairman of the Finance Committee to schedule just 1 hour for Dr. Berwick’s hearing. Republicans were not amused. Most complained that they were not being given enough time to query a chief who heads up an agency with one of the largest budgets in the federal government.

Take a listen to the dissent on this week’s podcast.

–Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)

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Filed under Health Policy, health reform, IMNG, Podcast

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