Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee "said Thursday he hopes to have a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Donald Berwick to become administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services before the Fourth of July recess. But [he] offered no guarantee," CQ HealthBeat reports. Baucus said the committee is still awaiting some information, though from the White House said "it had submitted full paperwork for Berwick."
"Some Senate Republicans have strongly criticized Berwick as one who favors rationing of care….But Democrats appear to be confident they can effectively rebut the GOP criticisms of Berwick, who is much admired in the health care industry for his work on improving the quality of health care and on improving patient safety. Past Republican administrators of the Medicare and Medicaid programs also have spoken favorably of Berwick" (Reichard, 5/20).