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Will Donald Berwick Ration Healthcare? Conservatives Pounce on Obama Appointee

Donald Berwick
Donald Berwick (AP) AP

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) Dr. Donald Berwick is President Obama's new man in charge of dispensing government health care and conservatives fear he is about to become "Rationer in Chief."

"The decision is not whether or not we will ration care, he told an interviewer according to the Associated Press. "The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly."

Liberals have argued that health care is already rationed by insurance companies and the economics of who can afford to pay for premium care.

The Harvard professor and patient care specialist will certainly have his work cut out for him in trying to tame the expanding budgets of Medicare and Medicaid while expanding coverage to millions of Americans under Obama's new health care legislation.

Obama used a recess appointment to install the 63-year-old pediatrician as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services without a Senate vote.

The American Hospital Association and AARP are backing him. Republicans, by and large, are not.

During the push to approve his health care legislation, President Obama promised the changes would expand coverage while bringing down costs.

In large part, its Berwick's job to make sure that happens.

For more analysis, read Political Hotsheet

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