Republicans continue to oppose Berwick

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Don Berwick, the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, still is taking flak from Republicans over his recess appointment and his views on the British healthcare system. But the Harvard professor of pediatrics and health care policy is preparing to answer his critics, according to news reports.

Berwick has been working out a point-by-point rebuttal to the charges conservatives have made against him, The New York Times reported, citing friend and ally sources. Berwick has yet to publically respond to his critics, and it is expected he will deliver his rebuttal during his first congressional hearing, according to the Times. Many conservatives believe Berwick's positive view of the British National Health Service is an indication of his willingness to ration healthcare in a socialized system.

Berwick throughout his career has espoused the benefits of private sector-led cost control efforts as a way to avoid government intervention in the healthcare system, the Times reported. He also says that quality improvement is the best way to reduce costs. One former student, using “continuous improvement” techniques learned from Berwick, was able to reduce inpatient-care costs at his Wisconsin-based hospital by 25%, according to the Times.

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