Déjà vu: Obama nominates Berwick again to head up CMS

Don't be surprised if Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Donald Berwick comes back under fire during what could be tense Senate confirmation hearings. On Wednesday, President Obama sent a stack of nominations to the Senate; among them, he renominated Berwick for the top CMS job.

Obama first nominated Berwick for the job last April. After the using a recess appointment in July to slide Berwick into the job, the President raised hackles among the opposition, who contended that Berwick would ration care. Opponents also objected to Berwick's support of the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called the renomination "a disappointing decision," both Time and McKnight's report.

"A day after the president committed to coming together to move our country forward, he's chosen to renominate one of his most contentious nominees to head an agency that impacts the lives of more than 100 million Americans," Hatch said, according to a Time blog.

Because of the recess appointment, which allows the president to fill a spot without a Senate confirmation when Congress is not in session, Berwick's term will last until the end of 2011. At that time, he will have to be confirmed in order to carry on with his work, the Boston Globe reports.

Still, the White House remains confident in its decision to renominate Berwick. "We've always said he's far and away the best-suited for this job, and we've always said we'd seek to get him confirmed," an administration official told Time blogger Kate Pickert in an email. "Simple as that."

To learn more:
- here's one of the White House nomination lists
- read the Boston Globe article
- here's McKnight's article
- read the Associated Press story
- here's the Time blog

Related Articles:
Obama's recess appointment of Berwick as CMS head draws criticism from Republicans
Despite wide industry support, Berwick faces 'uphill battle'
New CMS Chief: Berwick would bring renewed focus to patient safety, quality improvement
Defunding could gut CMS's new innovation center
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