Ethics in Medicine

Medicare Expert Testifies and Decries Waste

Kristen Sparrow • December 04, 2011

This describes the testimony of an Obama official in charge of Medicare, and he targets the bureaucracy, but it makes a very interesting read. He clearly is totally apolitical and just trying to improve Medicare, but gets attacked by Republicans, of course. I won’t try to comment on the whole article, of you’re interested the link is here. But this is the money quote at the end of the article. (For info on my practice, please click here.)

Dr. Berwick said most of the criticism by Republicans, who warn of a government takeover of health care, was “purely political, a world of sound bites.” In the interview, he lashed out at Republicans who depict him as an advocate of rationing health care.

In 2009, he told a biotechnology journal, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

Dr. Berwick said Republicans had “completed distorted” his meaning. “My point,” he said, “is that someone, like your health insurance company, is going to limit what you can get. That’s the way it’s set up. The government, unlike many private health insurance plans, is working in the daylight. That’s a strength.”