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Dr. Death Panel

29 April 2010 @ 16:59

Physician-In-Chief Barack Hussein Obama has appointed Doctor Donald Berwick Administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid ServicesAccording to Robert Goldberg, over at The American Spectator, Dr. Berwick’s job entails the following: 

…Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [aka: Obamacare], the CMS administrator does more than make sure Medicare and Medicaid pay claims in a more or less accurately and timely fashion. The office defines the quality of health care for every insurance plan, sets reimbursement rates for physicians in Medicare and Medicaid, and decides what treatments are more “valuable” than others. 

Berwick will get control of the practice of medicine…. 

As Pat Austin comments [big tip of the fedora to her for pointing out the TAS report]: 

Yikes! That’s a lot of power! Sort of makes one want to know more about Mr. Berwick, doesn’t it?… 

That’s exactly what Mr. Goldberg researched for his report and his work spurred Pat to look even further into what this now-powerful man believes and thinks.  It ain’t pretty if you believe in free will. 

-From the Goldberg piece [emphasis mine]: 

…In 2008, at a 60th anniversary celebration of the creation NHS, he told a UK crowd, “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. ” 

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.”  

One word of comment will suffice here: TOTALITARIAN. 

Well, actually, Mr. Goldberg has three words that also apply [emphasis mine]: 

…In 2008 the system Berwick believes is an example for healthcare worldwide denied cutting edge cancer drugs to 4,000 people, forcing thousands to remortgage their homes to pay for treatment. Love is blind. With regard to Dr. Berwick’s devotion to the NHS, it’s deaf and dumb as well. 

Pat, who is a much calmer person than I am, is spot-on [and admirably restrained] when she reacts thusly: 


Thanks, Pat, for saving my readers from a rant from me that would have made a sailor blush. 

-As I mentioned, she has done further research into this dangerous doctor.  Here’s a highlight from her must-read posting: 

Not one to shy away from dissing those in the medical profession, Berwick explained that one problem in our current health care system is the inadequate training of our health care professionals.  These people are emerging from school 

“…ill prepared to help.  The education of health professionals generally lacks focus on the skills in systems thinking, statistical thinking, measurement, cooperation, group process,teamwork, and pragmatic ‘‘real time science,’’ to name but a few disciplines that provide the foundation for effective citizenship in improvement.” 

Honestly, I’d rather have my doctor trained and experienced in say biology, cardiac care, internal medicine, pulmonary care, orthopedics, or whatever the case may be, rather than “systems thinking” or “group process teamwork.”   Maybe that’s just me. 

In an article at The Boston Globe, Berwick is quoted as saying, 

“The more I have studied it, the more I believe that less discretion for doctors would improve patient safety.” He then looks down. “Doctors will hate me for saying that.” 

Less discretion for doctors?  And more for government, I presume?  Scientific protocols?  Death panels,anyone? 

Seems to me, ‘Doctor’ Berwick is saying: ‘DEATH PANELS FOR EVERYONE!’

  1. 29 April 2010 @ 18:07 18:07

    Thanks for the linkage!

  2. 29 April 2010 @ 20:58 20:58

    “The education of health professionals generally lacks …. the disciplines that provide the foundation for effective citizenship in improvement.”

    Holy cripes, I think the good doctor should have his car serviced by an auto-mechanic that has the background for effectively improving his or her citizenship.

    “Honey, did you have the breaks serviced?”

    “Yes I did, and by a very fine chap who was very up on group process, teamwork and cooperation. He is surely equipped with all the right tools to effectively improve his citizenship.”

    “So it’s safe for Sally to drive to the coast?”

    “Oh, that! I really cant speak to that.”

  3. 29 April 2010 @ 21:03 21:03

    Any physician who thinks the key skills in medicine are systems thinking, statistical thinking, measurement, cooperation, group process, teamwork, and pragmatic ‘‘real time science’ has become an administrator and has forsaken the fundamental medical principles of caring for the patient, and doing no harm.

    Primum non nocere.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      29 April 2010 @ 22:53 22:53

      Or has become a committed Leftist who values ideas over patients.

  4. Adobe Walls permalink
    29 April 2010 @ 21:51 21:51

    Soooo…we were wrong about the Death Panels? It’s actually just one death guy?

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      29 April 2010 @ 23:00 23:00

      There are a good number of Rule 5 Mojo Masters, but I am THE Rule 5 Mojo Master. It’s the same thing regarding the Death Panels.

    • 30 April 2010 @ 16:06 16:06

      Doctor Donald Berwick is the administration’s choice for heading up the current Medicare and Medicaid programs. He is a physician who apparently is very focused on system efficiencies and management of resources, which may sound good to a lay person thinking about widget production but is totally at odds with what one hopes for in their physician. One would hope that the decisions a physician makes are based on his or her knowledge of medicine and are directed towards what is best for you the patient. Dr. Berwick is not one to embrace these standard concepts in US medicine. His notion that less discretion for doctors will result in better medicine ultimately comes down to an opinion that management decisions for the nation as a whole are better made based on an administrator’s decision on best allocation of resources. This means that doctor’s under such a system may not be operating as your advocate, and may have an agenda of their own whose allegiance is to the system. The Obama administration has chosen a person to head up the Center for Medicare and Medicaid whose view of providing medical care to the nation matches their own.


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