KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Senate Republicans Urge White House To Withdraw Berwick Nomination

The Obama administration used a "recess appointment" last July to appoint Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Yesterday, 42 GOPĀ senators signed on to a letterĀ asking that this appointment be withdrawn.

The Associated Press: Senate Republicans Push To Oust Medicare Chief
Unable to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, Republicans are trying to oust the official who is quarterbacking the overhaul of the nation's medical system. In a letter released Thursday, 42 Republican senators asked the president to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick as Medicare administrator, saying his experience isn't broad enough and past statements raise fundamental questions about his views on policy (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/3).

National Journal: Nice Try On Berwick, White House Says
A batch of Republican senators wrote to President Obama on Thursday asking him to withdraw his recess nomination of Donald Berwick as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but the White House said "no dice." Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the ranking member on the Finance Committee, and Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., the ranking member on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, led a group of 42 senators who signed the letter. Obama appointed Berwick last July while Congress was in recess after senators refused to hold confirmation hearings. Berwick, a Harvard Medical School professor, is also a health-policy expert (Fox, 3/3).

Politico: White House Won't Give Up On Berwick Nomination
The White House is refusing to give up on the nomination of Don Berwick as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in spite of a united front by GOP senators that could deny him a confirmation vote. 42 Republicans signed a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday asking him to withdraw Berwick's name and nominate someone who can win bipartisan support. "The White House's handling of this nomination - failing to respond to repeated requests for information and circumventing the Senate through a recess appointment - has made Dr. Berwick's confirmation next to impossible," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said. "In the spirit of cooperation, the president should withdraw his nomination and choose a different candidate who has the support and confidence of the American people" (Coughlin and Hoskinson, 3/3).

The Hill: GOP Senators To Obama: Scrap Medicare Nominee
Forty-two Senate Republicans wrote to President Obama on Thursday asking him to withdraw the nomination of Don Berwick as head of the Medicare agency. The president gave the controversial nominee a recess appointment last July, to the dismay of Republicans who accuse him of favoring health care rationing. Obama renominated Berwick in January, setting the stage for partisan fights in the Senate Finance Committee and the full Senate (Millman and Pecquet, 3/3).

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