FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


“Recess Appointment of Donald Berwick Is Best and Only Choice,” Leading Consumer Advocate Says

Statement of Debra L. Ness, Campaign for Better Care, and President, National Partnership for Women & Families

WASHINGTON, DC — July 6, 2010 — "The Obama Administration is making the best and only choice with a recess appointment of Donald Berwick, M.D. to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Dr. Berwick is a highly qualified candidate with extraordinary skill, vast experience and deep dedication to improving America’s health care system. Yet he has been the victim of ugly and baseless attacks by opponents of health reform who wanted to undermine his nomination.

Just last week, the Campaign for Better Care organized some 90 of the nation’s top consumer, purchaser and provider groups to issue a stirring defense of Berwick. Despite that strong, broad-based support, opponents have continued to misrepresent his work and distort his positions.

A recess appointment should not have been necessary but, given the circumstances, it was. The White House was right to appoint a man who is, quite simply, one of the nation’s leading experts on our health care system. He is sure to be a dedicated and effective public servant who works tirelessly to improve care for those who need it most.

It is past time to put politics aside. We should all unite behind Dr. Berwick and work together to ensure that we realize the promise of reform and make quality, coordinated care available to all.”

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The Campaign for Better Care is a multi-year initiative focused on improving health care quality, coordination and communication for older patients with multiple health problems and their family caregivers. It is building a movement of and for older adults and individuals with multiple chronic conditions, who are counting on health reform to provide the patient-centered, comprehensive and coordinated care they need. The Campaign is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. Learn more at www.CampaignForBetterCare.org.

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.