Despite Respect, Berwick Falls Victim To Politics

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(CMS)Dr. Donald BerwickThe Associated Press reports:

"WASHINGTON — The point man for carrying out President Obama’s health care law will be stepping down after Republicans succeeded in blocking his confirmation by the Senate, the White House announced Wednesday.

Medicare chief Don Berwick, a Harvard professor widely respected for his ideas on how to improve the health care system, became the most prominent casualty of the political wars over a health care overhaul whose constitutionality will be now decided by the Supreme Court."

The AP report includes an eloquent excerpt from an email Dr. Berwick sent to his staff, describing his "bittersweet emotions":

“Our work has been challenging, and the journey is not complete, but we are now well on our way to achieving a whole new level of security and quality for health care in America, helping not just the millions of Americans affected directly by our programs, but truly health care as a whole in our nation,” Berwick wrote.

Dr. Berwick's exit was long expected, as we reported here, here and here. Will he return to the Cambridge institution whence he came, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement? Please stay tuned.

This program aired on November 24, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.