Yesterday at my day job, I attended a webinar hosted by our health insurance carrier, Cigna, for them to brief us about the effects the new Healthcare Reform Act will have on our benefits. The first speaker, a Cigna government liaison, gave attendees an overview of the politics of the new law, upcoming eletions, the possibilities for changes, and just general uncertainty about what the future holds.
I was kind of shocked that he was talking politics at all, but it was really apropos due to the subject of the webinar. During his spiel he went over the recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by President Obama. He duly noted the controversy surrounding this pick for that position, citing Berwick’s well-documented affection for the British National Health Services (NHS), Berwick one time referring to it a “seductress,” and saying that any good health care system was, by nature, redistributive. He’s also famous for saying this: “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care–the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”