U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) today made the following statement regarding President Obama's decision to circumvent the Senate's confirmation hearings process and appoint Dr. Donald Berwick to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
"The President's decision to appoint this controversial figure to the CMS without a single Senate hearing is astonishing and wrong. Dr. Berwick's comments and views regarding the rationing of health care deserve careful and thorough public review. Appointing Dr. Berwick while the Congress is out of town is not the kind of transparency Americans deserve and it does nothing to promote bipartisan trust in the Administration. People have the right to know the views of the person in charge of the agencies affecting the health care for millions of seniors and others in need."
BACKGROUND: Senator LeMieux has worked closely with officials from CMS and others in developing legislation to crack down on the billions lost each year to Medicare fraud. Senator LeMieux is the author of S.2128, a bill focused on stopping payments to fraudulent health care service providers. Among the provisions, Senator LeMieux proposes requiring background checks for new and existing health care providers and suppliers affiliated with federal health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, implementing proven technologies to detect fraud in real-time before claims are paid, and appointing a Chief Health Care Fraud Prevention Officer within the Department of Health and Human Services to fight health care fraud nationwide.