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Public Statements

CMS Nominee

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I'm very concerned about the President's new nominee for the CMS, Dr. Donald Berwick. In my opinion, Dr. Berwick's positions on health care represent a step toward more government control of the doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Berwick opposes efforts to make patients more cost sensitive, stating that such measures have ``no rationale in science, ethics, or evidence.'' But there is plenty of evidence that consumers behave differently when the costs of a product are made clear.

Dr. Berwick praised the British commission responsible for rationing care as ``extremely effective and a conscientious, valuable, and knowledge-building system.'' This is the same system that routinely denies care in the name of cost savings and has led to dramatically lower cancer survival rates than the U.S.

Americans don't want a system of poor service and long waiting periods, but that's what we might expect under a CMS administrator who has been knighted for his service to the British National Health Service.

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