Thursday, May 27, 2010

Obama Names Rationing Czar to Run Medicare

By Terence P. Jeffrey
May 26, 2010

Dr. Donald Berwick of the Harvard Medical School does not like free enterprise, but he does like rationing.

Two years ago, in England, he delivered a talk celebrating the 60th birthday of Great Britain’s National Health Service, the bureaucracy that runs that nation’s socialized medical system. He apparently entertained some fear that day that the Brits might turn back to free enterprise. So, in his address (as reprinted in the July 26, 2008, edition of the British Medical Journal), and as reported this week by Matt Cover of, he offered British socialists some words of advice.

“Please,” he told them, “don’t put your faith in market forces—it’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can. I find little evidence that market forces relying on consumers choosing among an array of products, with competitors fighting it out, leads to the health care system you want and need. In the U.S., competition is a major reason for our duplicative, supply driven, fragmented care system.”

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