Today, President Obama appointed Dr. Donald Berwick to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). I truly believe that Dr. Berwick is the best man for the job - he is a highly qualified candidate with extraordinary skill, vast experience and a deep dedication to improving America's health care system.
However, he has been the victim of ugly and baseless attacks by opponents of health reform who wanted to undermine his nomination.
Just last week , the Campaign for Better Care organized some 90 of the nation's top consumer, purchaser and provider groups to issue a strong defense of Berwick. Despite that strong, broad-based support, opponents have continued to misrepresent his work and distort his positions.
A recess appointment should not have been necessary but, given the circumstances, it was. The White House was right to appoint a man who is, quite simply, one of the nation's leading experts on our health care system. He is sure to be a dedicated and effective public servant who works tirelessly to improve care for vulnerable older adults and others with multiple health problems.
It is past time to put politics aside. We should all unite behind Dr. Berwick and work together to ensure that we realize the promise of reform and make quality, coordinated care available to all.