I have never met Dr. Donald Berwick. Dr. Berwick was the former interim head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), who resigned from the position on December 3rd because his nomination by President Obama to be the permanent head of CMS was blocked by the Senate Republicans.
Dr. Berwick is a trained pediatrician and has expertise in public health and public policy. Over the years, Dr. Berwick has been a recognized leader in promoting cost effective health reform that achieves positive health outcomes. He is the founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a pioneering organization based on the idea of providing patients with needed care and protecting them from medical mistakes which saves lives, minimizes suffering and vastly reduces waste and cost.
With his departure, the federal government has lost one of its best thinkers and one of the best persons to help our country figure out how to improve our current health system.
Folks that oppose the Affordable Care Act have employed various tactics to keep this law from being implemented in a thoughtful and timely manner. Dr. Berwick’s departure is yet another attempt to establish barriers to prevent this new law from being properly implemented. Instead of devising political and partisan strategies, I implore our political leaders to focus their efforts on improving health outcomes in a cost effective manner and not spend their energy on politics.