Obama gives recess appointment to Berwick

posted at 8:48 am on July 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Just how controversial was Barack Obama’s appointment of Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)? Even with an 18-seat majority in the Senate, Obama shrank from having Berwick even show up at a hearing. Instead, Obama will use a recess appointment to get Berwick a pass from Congressional oversight:

With Congress officially on recess, President Obama will on Wednesday use his ability to make recess appointments to name one of his more controversial nominees: Donald Berwick, nominee to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The April nomination of Berwick — president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement — was in trouble and might not have been able to meet Senate confirmation due to comments Berwick made in the past about rationing health care. Even if Berwick could have been confirmed by the Senate, Democrats have little appetite for another round of fighting about changes to the health care system, Democrats said.

At this point in his presidency, Jake Tapper points out, George W. Bush had made 15 recess appointments. Democrats claimed that Bush was so abusive of the privilege that they started keeping the Senate in session continuously after taking control of the chamber in January 2007 to block any more recess appointments. How many recess appointments has Obama made? Eighteen.

Ben Domenech gives us an insight into why Obama feared Berwick’s appearance at a Senate confirmation hearing:

And speaking of transparency:

The White House claims this act is in response to “Washington game-playing”, accusing Republicans of planning to “stall the nomination” as long as possible. This is nothing more than a baldfaced lie. Republicanscannot stall this nomination — it is impossible for them to do so under Senate rules — as not one hearing has been called or scheduled. Even the New York Times doesn’t buy the White House’s explanation, reporting: “The recess appointment was somewhat unusual because the Senate is in recess for less than two weeks and senators were still waiting for Dr. Berwick to submit responses to some of their requests for information.”

In truth, it is the White House that is playing games with the health policy of the nation and the welfare of the American people. In bypassing the traditional process through which the Senate advises and consents to nominees, President Obama is preventing Senators and the people they represent from obtaining any answers from Mr. Berwick, who has repeatedly made claims and statements that raise numerous questions about his suitability for this critical position.

It’s one thing to use a recess appointment when a President thinks that Congress has stalled a nomination unfairly, although it still may arguably be an abuse of the privilege; the recess clause was intended to allow Presidents to fill urgent openings without quickly recalling Congress into session, a difficult prospect in those days.  It’s quite another to use the power to appoint someone who hasn’t bothered to fully respond to initial inquiries for information.  That speaks to a certain lack of intestinal fortitude in providing the accountability demanded by the Constitution of the executive branch to the legislative branch.

No one “stalled” Berwick.  The truth is that Obama was afraid to have Berwick questioned by Congress, which should have everyone questioning his suitability for the position, even without considering his prior statements on wealth redistribution and slobbering fanboyism of the British state-run health service.


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Well, THIS will give repeal efforts a boost!

parteagirl on July 7, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Don Berwick:

“The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

“Any health care funding plan that is just,equitable,civilized and humane must-must-redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate.”

“NHS is not just a national treasure; it is a global treasure.”

LibTired on July 7, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Our government is infested with communists.

darwin on July 7, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a suggestion from Senate Dems to do this, especially from those up for re-election (*cough cough Harry Reid cough cough*) who did not want to have to take another controversial vote, especially on health care.

Wethal on July 7, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Why didn’t Obie just make him a czar?

Dire Straits on July 7, 2010 at 8:56 AM

That speaks to a certain lack of intestinal fortitude in providing the accountability demanded by the Constitution of the executive branch to the legislative branch

That describes Obama and his Droogs to a T.

thomasaur on July 7, 2010 at 8:56 AM

T minus 928 days and counting.

Oldnuke on July 7, 2010 at 8:56 AM

I cannot seem to get thru 24hrs without this admin making me want to puke…

PatriotRider on July 7, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Our government is infested with communists.

darwin on July 7, 2010 at 8:55 AM

McCarthy was right and while the press was busy demonizing him the commies multiplied like mice.

thomasaur on July 7, 2010 at 8:58 AM

And when his temporary appointment expires in January, Obowman makes Berwick a czar, who does not need confirmation.

Wethal on July 7, 2010 at 8:58 AM

McCarthy was right and while the press was busy demonizing him the commies multiplied like mice.

thomasaur on July 7, 2010 at 8:58 AM

+1000

Disturb the Universe on July 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM

They are so arrogant that they openly admit after the passage of healthcare reform that the ambiguities that are rampant in the bill will be determined by those who will control who and what healthcare will be provided and by what measure. The lies and deceptions worked.

volsense on July 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM

All Hail King Obama ..!

Badbrucskie on July 7, 2010 at 9:01 AM

I’m sure the RNC is making ads abut this as we speak. Errr, no…that would not be gentlemanly. He won and gets to appoint who He wants.

Dingbat63 on July 7, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Not surprising. Not at all.

iurockhead on July 7, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Pitchforks on sale anywhere?

publiuspen on July 7, 2010 at 9:03 AM

We’re all communists now, comrade.

Daggett on July 7, 2010 at 9:03 AM

I’m sure the RNC is making ads abut this as we speak. Errr, no…that would not be gentlemanly. He won and gets to appoint who He wants.

Dingbat63 on July 7, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Nope, they are to busy trying to run off Michael Steele.

Dire Straits on July 7, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Let’s see….August, September, October and the 2010 elections are in November. That´s a little more than 3 months until beginning of the kicking out the Democrats and any other liberals in Congress.

albill on July 7, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Health care, along with housing and jobs etc. is not a “human right”. That is a Leftist distortion of the idea of Natural Rights (not “negative rights”, which our marxist infused Dear Liar believes.)

As for an “unaccountable” system, how does making a recess appointment when the opposition party cannot stall even a normal appointment make for accountability. If Berwick had any honor he’d decline the recess appointment (yes, I kid — only to hold back the tears.)

rbj on July 7, 2010 at 9:07 AM

When even the NYTimes says it doesn’t pass the smell test……what a bloody weasel

cmsinaz on July 7, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Frank Marshall Davis would be so proud of young Barry.

kingsjester on July 7, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Why didn’t Obie just make him a czar?

Dire Straits on July 7, 2010 at 8:56 AM

He probably wouldn’t have the authority to issue new regulations, which is no doubt what Obama wants done.

Even if the appointment expires, the regs would be in place and could only be removed by the executive branch revoking them or a change in the law by Congress (try getting that past the senate and a presidential veto).

Wethal on July 7, 2010 at 9:09 AM

It is, of course, only the really wealthy who will always have a way out of government-mandated, appallingly poor health care systems, who tell we “little people” that this is what is best for us.

The British health care system is a disaster, and this guy can stand there and applaud it only because he will never have to entrust his life and the lives of those he loves to it, or anything like it.

ProfessorMiao on July 7, 2010 at 9:10 AM

“Must, must, must redistribute wealth.”

Fine, Berwick. Let’s start with yours.

Wethal on July 7, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Transparency

DamnCat on July 7, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Eugenics doesn’t do well in the sunlight.

So I guess death panels are back?

I think flushing the whole Obowma regime is the best answer. The racism from the regime is beginning to overflow the toilet.

tarpon on July 7, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Recess appointments are racist.

Sugar Land on July 7, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Nothing infuriates me more than gubmint manipulating my access to health care. When folks see their medical care being rationed by Washington bureaucrats on the basis of somebody’s notion of ‘social justice’ or somebody’s actuarial tables, the pitchforks will start to fly.

petefrt on July 7, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Spoiled little baby in the White House…

IntheNet on July 7, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Well, THIS will give repeal efforts a boost!

parteagirl on July 7, 2010 at 8:51 AM

I agree. I hope Berwick gets busy proposing new regulations for release well before November. I want to reignite the repeal issue.

BuckeyeSam on July 7, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Donald Berwick is the new poster child for everything that is wrong with the current administration!

pilamaye on July 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM

I am starting to get creeped out by the constant gaming of the system the president employs to get his way. It’s not just occasionally, it’s all the time. And I think that’s why the Gulf is such a mess, he can’t b.s. his way out of the visuals.

Cindy Munford on July 7, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Fine, Berwick. Let’s start with yours.

Wethal on July 7, 2010 at 9:11 AM

He didn’t mean his own wealth. None of them ever mean that.

Eren on July 7, 2010 at 9:26 AM

So I guess death panels are back?

tarpon on July 7, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Yep, death panels are back, big time.

Want medical attention? Only members of politically favored identity groups need apply.

petefrt on July 7, 2010 at 9:27 AM

I’ve dealt with the State Department in the past, trying to get Montagnards out of Vietnam. One State employee told me that we (the U.S.) had to respect the legitimate government of Vietnam. When I replied that the current government was communist, she said that that didn’t matter.

So, I scratched my head and wondered why 58,000 of my fellow countrymen died fighting that “legitimate government”. Joe McCarthy was right, the State Department and other agencies are full of commies.

Special Forces Grunt on July 7, 2010 at 9:28 AM

will someone in the press bother asking Reid why the Senate is just rolling over for the executive?

rob verdi on July 7, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Day 79, btw.

publiuspen on July 7, 2010 at 9:30 AM

“Redistributing Wealth”

maverick muse on July 7, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Time Bandits’ Robin Hood

“Thank You.”

maverick muse on July 7, 2010 at 9:33 AM

NRO’s Daniel Foster reports on Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell’s response:

Meanwhile, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell called the appointment “outrageous:”“As if shoving a trillion dollar government takeover of health care down the throat of a disapproving American public wasn’t enough, apparently the Obama Administration intends to arrogantly circumvent the American people yet again by recess appointing one of the most prominent advocates of rationed health care to implement their national plan.

“Democrats haven’t scheduled so much as a committee hearing for Donald Berwick but the mere possibility of allowing the American people the opportunity to hear what he intends to do with their health care is evidently reason enough for this Administration to sneak him through without public scrutiny.

“Just over three months after passage of this misguided law, with Americans’ worst fears about it being realized every day, the fact that this Administration won’t allow the man charged with implementing the President’s plan to cut $500 billion out of Medicare to testify about his plans for the care of our nation’s seniors is truly outrageous.”

onlineanalyst on July 7, 2010 at 9:40 AM

If I’m not mistaken, this guy can only serve until the end of this session of Congress. Obama will have to renominate him in the enxt Congress when he will have even fewer votes in the Senate and possible not even a majority.

We had damn well better watch everything this man signs in the next 6 months! It appears they want to push out as many ObamaCare regulations as possible before the new Congress can come in and reject them.

These folks have ZERO respect for the will of the people. They know they are all lame ducks and they are going to set abouyt destroying as much of America as they can before the new Congress gets in place.

rockmom on July 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM

I just wonder if the GOP has the cajones to really fight this thing. If they want to lead, Obama is providing plenty of material to lead against. We’ll just see how badly they want to listen to the people.

search4truth on July 7, 2010 at 9:45 AM

“Just over three months after passage of this misguided law, with Americans’ worst fears about it being realized every day, the fact that this Administration won’t allow the man charged with implementing the President’s plan to cut $500 billion out of Medicare to testify about his plans for the care of our nation’s seniors is truly outrageous.”

THIS is what this is all about!!! They do not want our parents and grandparents to know what is about to happen to their health care! They are hiding it ALL!!!

Of all the outrages visited on the American people by this President, this one might just be the worst! I hope we can all leave Michael Steele alone now and concentrate our fire on people like Donald Berwick and Elena Kagan!

rockmom on July 7, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Tar.
Feathers.
Now.

TinMan13 on July 7, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Transparency

DamnCat on July 7, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Megaditto…

Khun Joe on July 7, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Our government is infested with communists.

darwin on July 7, 2010 at 8:55 AM

A whole bunch came in with the FDR administration. Even more are coming in with Ogabe’s.

Caper29 on July 7, 2010 at 9:49 AM

When Chimpy Bush did this with John Bolton, the Left demanded that he be strung up.

Del Dolemonte on July 7, 2010 at 10:00 AM

The truth is that Obama was afraid to have Berwick questioned by Congress, which should have everyone questioning his suitability for the position, even without considering his prior statements on wealth redistribution and slobbering fanboyism of the British state-run health service.

Which the British are abandoning because it’s not sustainable.

How freakin dumb does someone need to be to keep “aping” behavior when the Subject you are aping has already rejected the behavior?

I think these people consumed to many recreational drugs in the 60s, and sloughed off too many “critical” brain cells.

Dr Evil on July 7, 2010 at 10:05 AM

I think Obama and his bosses count on the ignorance if the American public to get away with all this… Go and ask 3 people today what they think of Obama making this recess appointment… I bet the majority of those asked won’t have a clue about this nor would they understand the consequences of what is happening in the United States… I think we are being destroyed from within …

CCRWM on July 7, 2010 at 10:17 AM

44% overall on Gallup. Adding independents & Republicans together he’s at 20%. Heckuva job there, Commie!

Key West Reader on July 7, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Folks, he couldn’t care less about his approval rating. He will reek havoc for 4 years, and then dare the Republicans to nullify all of this. He’s betting they won’t. Unfortunately, unless we elect the right Republicans (See McCain vs Hayword) he’s probably right.

dirtseller on July 7, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Obamacare is immoral, straight-up. I’m getting really sick of these economic illiterates.

visions on July 7, 2010 at 10:31 AM

I knew Obama had a totalitarian streak. Now he’s showing a yellow streak as well.

WannabeAnglican on July 7, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Any day now we will awaken to the news that Wesley Mouch has been found and appointed to Obama’s administration.

justltl on July 7, 2010 at 10:41 AM

“The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

Death Panel Czar!

NoLeftTurn on July 7, 2010 at 10:43 AM

I cannot seem to get thru 24hrs without this admin making me want to puke…

PatriotRider on July 7, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Under Obamacare, there’s a pill for that.*
Assuming you meet a few guidelines…

Jeff2161 on July 7, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Rule of Law?

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

notagool on July 7, 2010 at 10:44 AM

rockmom on July 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM

He only has until Jan. 3 to accomplish what he and Gollum Obama wants. He can’t be renominated once a recess appointment is made. That was the trade off Bush had to make about Bolton’s appointment to the UN.

BTW: IMHO they probably already have the Regs ready to go.

chemman on July 7, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Of all the outrages visited on the American people by this President, this one might just be the worst! I hope we can all leave Michael Steele alone now and concentrate our fire on people like Donald Berwick and Elena Kagan!

rockmom on July 7, 2010 at 9:46 AM

There you go advocating violence again.

chemman on July 7, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Pitchforks on sale anywhere?

publiuspen on July 7, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Wal-Mart. But they’re all out of torches.

Jaibones on July 7, 2010 at 11:21 AM

He only has until Jan. 3 to accomplish what he and Gollum Obama wants. He can’t be renominated once a recess appointment is made. That was the trade off Bush had to make about Bolton’s appointment to the UN.

BTW: IMHO they probably already have the Regs ready to go.

chemman on July 7, 2010 at 10:57 AM

That’s right, I forgot about the Bolton thing. That makes it even weirder, though I would not be surprised if the screwups in the White House don’t even know that Berwick can’t be renominated. Or maybe Harry Reid plans to shove thorugh a bill that “deems” Berwick confirmed by the Senate, or wait for a lame duck session after the election to ram through a confirmation without hearings. Who knows with these power-mad a-holes? I wouldn’t put anything past them.

They’ll probably just make up some BS “senior advisor” job for Berwick and put in some puppet as CMS administrator in January while Berwick calls the shots.

It’s also possible they just wanted a seatwarmer in the job now so they can use it in January for some Democrat ex-Senator (Russ Feingold?) or ex-Congressman that needs a job.

rockmom on July 7, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Repeal ObamaCare….

d1carter on July 7, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Berwick will be the gift that keeps on giving. He can’t keep his mouth shut about his socialist plans. He’ll probably be a nightly feature in the news until Rahm tells him to to shut up.

GarandFan on July 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Germany just announced this:

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/07/06/general-eu-germany-health-care_7744704.html?boxes=Homepagebusinessnews

Raising premiums to 15.5 percent of gross pay.

Is Britain far behind?

Want to rethink how much you love the NHS Mr Berwick?

journeyintothewhirlwind on July 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM

These Russian spies were pretty stupid skulking around trying not to get caught. All they had to do was make an appointment with any of these D.C. agencies nowadays and they would gladly have given their Comrades all the information they wanted.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 7, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Well, they could hardly take a chance on any questions about healthcare rationing. They’re trying real hard to keep anyone from bringing up the subject of death panels.

tom on July 7, 2010 at 12:33 PM

This is pure Bolshevik!

Logic on July 7, 2010 at 12:34 PM

All Hail King Obama ..!

Badbrucskie on July 7, 2010 at 9:01 AM

When doing the above,
Make sure to use raised LEFT hand with the third digit extended upward as in the “Hawaiian. good luck sign”.

Col.John Wm. Reed on July 7, 2010 at 12:40 PM

DEATH PANEL DOCTOR.

Obama (Berwick) says Goodnight Granny…….you’re dead!!!

PappyD61 on July 7, 2010 at 12:52 PM

I’m sure the RNC is making ads abut this as we speak. Errr, no…that would not be gentlemanly. He won and gets to appoint who He wants.

Dingbat63 on July 7, 2010 at 9:01 AM

THIS JUST IN………

DOTUS appoints Lucifer Satanus to be new head of National Health Board. Satanus gained notoriety when he gave a speech in 2009 calling Alaska Governor Palins’ claims about “Death Panels” fraudulent and misguided, even bordering on “Libelous”.

Satunus will appear with President Obama in a White House announcement later this week for his official introduction. Satanus has already announced that Medical payments to providers will be eliminated for “unneeded” procedures such as hip replacements, joint therapy, blood pressure modification and cardiac care. He expects the panel to begin formal approval of the payment plan next week after his appointment by Obama.

PappyD61 on July 7, 2010 at 12:59 PM

THIS JUST IN……

Following the announcement of the Satanus appointment Senators Lindsay Graham and Mitch McConnell announced they would not oppose the Obama appointment since “He won the election and certainly he should have the ability to appoint whomever he chooses, we wish Mr. Satanus well in his new position.”

PappyD61 on July 7, 2010 at 1:01 PM

“Must, must, must redistribute wealth.”

Okay.

You go first.

MarkT on July 7, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Ha, and all my CF (Cystic Fibrosis) Obama friends thought they would have it so much better with ObamaCare…They have probably signed my granddaughter’s death warrent…

lovingmyUSA on July 7, 2010 at 2:37 PM

“Must, must, must redistribute wealth.”

Must, must, must slap that face!!!

Mary in LA on July 7, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Everyday, this administration must get together and say….What can we do to destroy a little more of America today? Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do to stop them from plunging a dagger into the heart of our Constitution and upon our very Freedoms and Liberty.

I keep waiting for someone in Congress to have the courage to call out for the impeachment of this evil President and the Communists within his administration.

I thought the President along with our Congressmen and women swore an oath to defend and protect our Constitution against ALL ENEMIES BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC !! I believe we are seeing “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” in the shredding of our Constitution by these miscreants !

FreedomLover on July 8, 2010 at 12:30 AM

Our government is infested with communists.

darwin on July 7, 2010 at 8:55 AM

DITTO.

Lourdes on July 8, 2010 at 6:20 AM

Ha, and all my CF (Cystic Fibrosis) Obama friends thought they would have it so much better with ObamaCare…They have probably signed my granddaughter’s death warrent…

lovingmyUSA on July 7, 2010 at 2:37 PM

I did my best to TRY to inform the Hapless Left prior to the 2008 Election as to what “Obamacare” actually involved and what the ‘philosophy’ as planned would result in.

Received a lot of ridicule and harassment from people who maintained various victim-presentations and why my information just didn’t fit into their needs and views and the Leftwing Dictat being pursued in electing Obama.

All of them have ensured their own demise and increased suffering — those with “pre-existing medical conditions” — as also have ensured now the denigration of the American taxpayers overall (and ALSO as to THEIR “health care”).

The whole concept of medical insurance is lost on the Left, what with their insistence that “health care is a right”.

I long for the days of a doctor’s office, a doctor in it, one nurse in white uniform outside at the front, an appointment, an exam with the doctor, a decision for further care if needed and a bill which was up for negotiation or trade or cash on the desk outside when you left, OR, if you were really suffering, “payment terms” for when you could afford the balance.

Lourdes on July 8, 2010 at 6:25 AM

These Russian spies were pretty stupid skulking around trying not to get caught. All they had to do was make an appointment with any of these D.C. agencies nowadays and they would gladly have given their Comrades all the information they wanted.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 7, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I’ve thought the same thing several times. I’m sure if they dropped a bit of contact Valerie Jarrett’s way, or Axelrod’s, they’d have had a happy celebration special big dinner at the White House filled with “information party favors”.

It appears that the Communists who used to lay claim to the old U.S.S.R. and Cuba and other offshoots simply came over here and got jobs in our government.

By the way, I note the near-total blackout on any news about the extensive spy network that Castro deploys to the U.S.

Lourdes on July 8, 2010 at 6:29 AM

WHY WAS OBAMA’S “BRAIN”, VALERIE JARRET, SO HAPPY TO HIRE COMMUNIST VAN JONES?

Jarret and Obama’s “Brain” are Communists, is why.

Lourdes on July 8, 2010 at 6:32 AM