Don Berwick resigns after Senate blocks his confirmation

Don Berwick is out and Marilyn Tavenner is in. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick said he'll step down from his post now that Republicans have successfully blocked his Senate confirmation, the Associated Press reports today. After he steps down Dec. 2, Deputy Administrator Marilyn Tavenner will take over.

When Berkwick was nominated for the position earlier this year to head CMS (and thereby healthcare reform), 42 GOP senators voiced opposition. Berwick's affinity for the British approach to government-run healthcare has polarized Washington, although Berwick later clarified that the "the American system needs its own solution," the AP reports.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) issued a statement today, commending Berwick's commitment to improving health care. "We appreciate his openness to always being willing to listen to the hospital field's perspective on how to deliver better care to patients. He was instrumental in paving the way to new forms of payments that allow for greater coordination for patients across the care continuum.  His leadership in health reform implementation has been invaluable, and we are certain he will continue to make important contributions in this arena in the future," according to the AHA statement.

Berwick said he will continue to work to improve the nation's healthcare system. Article