The Best System is Ration-Based Single Payer – Donald Berwick, Obama Nomineee to CMS
We were warned. I have to laugh at the media dropping all over themselves to try and say that Obama’s SCOTUS nominee Kagan is some kind of ‘centrist’.
Obama is a Marxist. he appoints those and surrounds himself with nothing but radical Marxists. So Obama appoints a Knighted subject of Queen Elizabeth to dictate for us the same kind of system that has failed in Britain.
It’s a coup folks. Wake up.
Or one day you are going to find yourself where all citizens of a Marxist government end up: oppressed, enslaved in camps or dead in mass graves.
Donald Berwick’s Radical Agenda
President Obama’s nomination of Donald Berwick as the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is a gathering far less attention than a certain other nominee — but it will be getting more attention in the weeks to come, given his particularly radical agenda when it comes to health policy.
Berwick is a leading Ivy League academic and technocrat – he’s graduated from Harvard not once, but three times – and is the founder of a Cambridge-based think-tank, the Institute for Health Care Improvement. Yet the job of running CMS is hardly the same as running a small think tank or talking in broad terms about the nature of health care – CMS is essentially the world’s second largest insurance company after the United Kingdom’s NHS, covering over 98 million people and overseeing roughly $800 billion annually in taxpayer-funded health care expenditures.
Berwick is a great fan of the NHS, and worked as a consultant on the project under Tony Blair. Berwick will have the opportunity to apply the ideas he gained through that experience with the power of the CMS position, which means that his nomination holds massive ramifications for Medicare and Medicaid recipients, hospitals and doctors and, under Obama’s law, all Americans.
Berwick: Health Care Must Redistribute Wealth
Key to understanding Berwick’s views on the NHS is a speech he gave as part of a presentation offered two years ago, in which he shared his thoughts on the NHS and health care generally. You can watch the full speech here, which is excerpted above. The full video shows several lines from Berwick that are notable. He decries private sector solutions to health care problems, dismissing the “invisible hand of the market” as an “unaccountable system.” He also states:
“I am romantic about the NHS; I love it. All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country.”
And more disturbingly, in the clip above:
“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 the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.”
Berwick’s Views on Why the US Should Be More Like the UK
Robert Goldberg, vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, writes on Berwick’s views expressed in 2008 at length in this piece at the American Spectator:
“Berwick complained the American health system runs in the ‘darkness of private enterprise,’ unlike Britain’s ‘politically accountable system.’ The NHS is ‘universal, accessible, excellent, and free at the point of care – a health system that is, at its core, like the world we wish we had: generous, hopeful, confident, joyous, and just’; America’s health system is ‘toxic,’ ‘fragmented,’ because of its dependence on consumer choice. He told his UK audience: ‘I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do.’”
But as Goldberg points out:
“It may not be joyous or just or configured correctly, but for nearly every disease, particularly cancer, stroke, and heart attacks, Americans live longer and healthier than the English because of better care.”
Indeed, the UK has a terrible record on heart attacks, cancer, and more. A recent piece in the Telegraph runs down the OECD numbers concerning Britain’s actual outcomes from the system Berwick supports so much:
“Britain also languishes near the bottom of the breast cancer league table, with a survival rate of 78.5 per cent. The OECD-wide average is 81.2 per cent. Heart attack victims in Britain are also more likely to die after entering hospital than in most other developed nations. Around 6.3 per cent of patients who have suffered a heart attack have passed away within 30 days of entering a British hospital – significantly higher than the 4.3 per cent average. The figures also show that British life expectancy is much lower than our nearest neighbours. Men in this country can expect to live to 79 years and six months, against 81 years in France. While the report’s authors identified some successes in British healthcare – we have among the best records in Europe for screening women for breast and cervical cancer – the survey indicates that Labour’s much-trumpeted NHS investment has failed to raise standards in key areas.”
The fact is that the UK system is designed for a very different population than ours, with a very different culture — one with far fewer guns, auto accidents, better diets, and fewer young people doing dangerous things. Yet America still has advantages in dealing with these key diseases. While there are many statistics to trumpet on this point, perhaps the best example is that American life expectancy at age 65 is actually higher than Britain.