Donald Berwick, whom our flailing President recently installed as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with a recess appointment, has long passed himself off as a champion of transparency. It would appear, however, that this is yet another situation in which Dr. Berwick has two standards—-one for himself and another for everyone else.
Before he became CMS administrator, Berwick ran a “nonprofit” health care think tank called the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. But it appears that IHI was funded by a variety of for-profit firms that now stand to make huge profits off Obamacare. It’s hard to know for sure, however, because this champion of transparency refuses to reveal the sources of IHI’s funding:
Dr. Berwick is declining to say exactly who provided funding to the Massachusetts-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement in response to Republicans who question whether the new Medicare chief could have a conflict of interest if medical-device companies or health plans helped make his generous compensation package possible in the first place.
He insists, however, that he is abiding by the applicable ethics rules:
In a letter to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Dr. Berwick said he has complied fully with the ethics rules. ‘You can be assured that I will comply with all of the recusal and other obligations contained in my ethics agreement.’
This is a guy who has often demanded that hospitals, physician groups and other health care providers be very transparent about all facets of their internal operations. Yet, when asked for a few pieces of important information about a firm that he founded, he says he can’t do it because he doesn’t work there any longer. What a BS artist!
Is there ANYONE in the Obama administration who is NOT a brazen hypocrite?