Forty-two Republican senators have signed their names to a letter asking President Barack Obama to withdraw Dr. Donald Berwick's nomination to lead the CMS.
GOP senators oppose Berwick nomination
Led by Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the senators contend that Obama's decision to appoint the Harvard-trained pediatrician in a recess appointment last year was completed before a hearing was held, which hindered the Senate's ability to consider Berwick's nomination in the 111th Congress.
“This abrupt and unilateral action meant that no senator—Democrat or Republican—was given the opportunity to ask Dr. Berwick a single question before he was placed in charge of an agency with a budget larger than the Department of Defense; which controls 4% of our nation's gross domestic product; and, most importantly, directly impacts more than 100 million American lives every single day,” according to the letter.
Obama recently renominated Berwick to the position.
The letter continued to say that Berwick's “past record of controversial statements, and general lack of experience managing an organization as large as complex as CMS should disqualify him” from the post.
“Once you have withdrawn his nomination, we are confident we can all work together to find a nominee for administrator we can support and confirm after appropriate hearings are held,” the letter stated.
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