My friend and “brother” Jason Mattera has certainly moved up in the world. Not only has he become the editor in chief of Human Events, the administration has begun to treat him as well as they do Congress. That’s certainly the case here, where the new recess-appointed chief of Medicare, Donald Berwick, answers just as many questions as the Obama White House was prepared to let him answer in a confirmation hearing. One of his aides tells Jason that “he’s not taking any questions,” which appears to be Berwick’s entire approach to government:
If it’s any consolation, Berwick won’t be around long to not take questions. His recess appointment ends with this session of Congress, and regardless of whether Democrats hold the Senate or not, he won’t be coming back for more in 2011. Democrats looking at 2012 elections are not anxious to go on record in support of Berwick, and in Barack Obama’s attempt to shield Berwick from the kind of questions that Jason had to ambush him to ask. Max Baucus (D-MT), the chair of the Senate Finance Committee for the moment, would only commit to an “oversight” hearing with Berwick, not a confirmation for a renomination as the White House had begun to float shortly after its recess appointment of the man who proclaimed his “romantic notions” for Britain’s state-run health-care system, the NHS.