August 2, 2010
This Will Make You Sicker
In addition to the grave medical concerns pertaining to the appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is another issue that speaks to his political perspectives. Berwick has been actively involved with the international advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which was established with funding from the Ford Foundation.
In 2000, Berwick "began donating thousands of dollars [to PHR] when PHR was focusing most, if not all, of its investigations on Israel's treatment of terrorists during the Intifada." The PHR engaged in the false claim that the Israel Defense Force (IDF) massacred the (Palestinian) population during the Jenin episode.
PHR has a disproportionate concern with Israel; equally alarming is the fact that the PHR gave an award to Eyad Sarraj, an activist in Gaza who justified homicide bombings. Yet Berwick steadily increased his contributions to PHR. Furthermore, a PHR press release all but accuses Israel of deliberately targeting wounded civilians and medical facilities during Operation Cast Lead. In addition, Physicians for Human Rights has played "a pivotal role in the campaign to prosecute American officials for alleged acts of torture committed at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp." PHR uses standards derived from the so-called "Istanbul Protocol" for investigating torture charges. These are standards promoted by the European Union.
Why would Berwick financially support and be a board member of an organization that singles out Israel for human rights abuses and mistreatment of civilians? Why does Berwick consider international law above American law? It is but another example of the anti-Israel, leftist-leaning people whom Obama chooses. There is an anti-Israel and anti-American venom that courses through Obama and the people he surrounds himself with.
So in what is becoming his standard operating dictatorial approach, Obama has pushed through another appointee, with the result that Berwick now has enormous power over Americans' health care. In essence, Berwick will head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and control a budget larger than the Pentagon's.
Obama snuck Berwick in on Independence Day weekend with a recess appointment. That alone should have gotten everyone's radar up. Berwick thus bypassed any Senate questioning of him. The reason given for this action was that the White House did not want the Republicans to stall since "the agency [faced] new responsibilities to protect seniors' care under the Affordable Care Act" and they did not wish to waste time with "Washington game-playing." Yet again, the American people have deliberately been kept in the dark by this president. So much for the most transparent presidency ever!
According to Sally C. Pipes of Investors Business Daily, "Berwick's task under the new health reform law will be to take from Medicare, the program for seniors, and give to Medicaid, the program for low-income Americans." Berwick is a fan of the United Kingdom's NHS, which routinely rations care and medicines. In a New York Times article of 2008, a British man was refused medication to treat his kidney cancer."If [he] lived in the United States ... [he] would most likely get the drug, although he might have to pay part of the cost." In a 2010 article from the British Telegraph, reports of bureaucratic red tape indicate that patients cannot get information about lifesaving drugs. Yet the (British) National Health Service is the system that Berwick "is romantic about." In 2009, Berwick said that "the decision is not whether or not we will ration care; the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open." In 2005, he said that he doesn't "care so much what doctors say." Other comments of Berwick's should put everyone on notice. They include:
- "I would place a commitment to excellence-standardization to the best-known method-above clinician autonomy as a rule for care."
- "Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy."
- "Political leaders in the Labour Government have become more enamored of the use of market forces and choice as an engine for change, rather than planned, centrally coordinated technical support."
Clearly, Berwick falls in line with the ideas of central planning, socialism, and loss of personal autonomy, in addition to his Israel and American animus -- precisely those core beliefs that clearly define Obama and his circle of appointees.
To add salt to the wound, "at the same time that Berwick was waxing enthusiastically about Britain's National Health Service, he was, according to Robert M. Goldberg, pocketing millions in compensation and free lifetime health benefits courtesy of the corporations and health interests he will now both regulate and reward."
So the boomer generation is going to be in for a rude awakening as Obama's lies keep piling up. Berwick advocates rationing for seniors. People will not be able to keep their health insurance or their own doctors, and there certainly will be no reduction in the deficit. In fact, as Sally C. Pipes has written, "with Berwick heading up CMS, seniors and the poor will serve as the initial laboratory rats. Soon enough, however, everyone will be affected."
Repeatedly, Obama's appointments are made in the shadows. And each time this occurs, it is an insult to the American people. Obama continues to circumvent public inspection of ideas and people who will have tremendous impact on Americans. That the American people did not have the opportunity to engage in a public debate over these ideas is evidence of Obama's ever-evolving tyrannical hold on the nation.
Indeed, the double standards, the philosophical ideas at odds with American beliefs, and the clear harm that is intended confirm the idea that "Barack Obama is aggressively destroying our country" and its core beliefs.
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.