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Who is Don Berwick?

“Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.”

Donald Berwick is currently the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the largest health insurance program in the United States.

Before being recess appointed by President Barack Obama as the head of CMS, Berwick was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a non-profit based in Cambridge, Massachusetts which Berwick founded in 1991 following a career as a pediatrician and an academic.

Berwick has authored more than a hundred articles and given many speeches on his perspective on health care and the proper role of government in managing a health care system in the course of consulting for various nations around the world — most famously, he played a key role in designing the current British system, for which he has expressed significant affection.

Video footage of Berwick’s most controversial remarks was discovered by The Heartland Institute after Berwick was nominated to head Medicare and Medicaid. When his endorsement of rationing and his rejection of basic free market principles became more widely known, the statements sparked a response which tagged him as “Obama’s rationing man” and raised the spectre of bureaucratic death panels.

Yet rather than hold Senate hearings where Berwick could respond to his own remarks and attempt to assuage concerns, President Obama chose to bypass the nomination process before Berwick had even been fully vetted. Concerns remain regarding both Berwick’s funding sources at IHI, potential conflicts of interest, and his unwillingness to respond to questions from reporters and any news sources that might be unfriendly to his controversial views.

This vetting process will now be an ongoing project of, a project of The Heartland Institute.