Medicare administrator Donald Berwick resigns in the face of Republican opposition
INDUSTRY NEWS TAGS: CMS
CMS Administrator Donald M. Berwick notified colleagues that he will step down Dec. 2, nearly a month before the expiration of his recess appointment. Obama nominated Berwick to run Medicare in April 2010. In July 2010, with no confirmation hearing scheduled, the president appointed him to the job while Congress was in recess. Earlier this year, 42 Republican senators signed a letter pledging to block his confirmation, effectively ending any chance of him serving beyond 2011.
Berwick won accolades and the endorsements of major health-care groups for his academic work, which focused on reducing the cost of care while improving quality and patient experience. Republicans, however, seized on remarks he made praising Britain’s National Health Service as an "example" for the United States to follow. Many accused him of supporting the "rationing" of services, a claim Berwick has rejected.
The White House will nominate Marilyn Tavenner, Medicare’s deputy administrator, as his replacement.