Senate Finance Committee may question Berwick about healthcare reform

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Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)

Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, likely will field questions about healthcare reform when he testifies before the Senate Finance Committee next week.

It will be Berwick's first appearance before Congress since President Obama appointed him administrator in July. Because Congress was out of session, he did not have to face Senate confirmation hearings. Berwick is scheduled to speak about Medicare and Medicaid to the Senate Finance Committee, and will probably face questions from critics of healthcare reform, such as Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). The healthcare reform law would reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending by about $455 billion over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Bloomberg News reported.

Thus far, Berwick is not scheduled to appear before House Republicans when they take control of the House in January. Berwick was asked to testify by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.