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January 6, 2012

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: On Saving the American Health System: Dr. Donald Berwick's Farewell Speech

Don Berwick is an American hero and also a victim of the obscene stalemate in Washington; the one being heaped on us by our Congress that has a 9% approval rating. Most people that I know with a score that low would have the self-respect to quit rather than to point fingers at others. Well, as part of this mess, Congress wouldn't approve the appointment of Dr. Don Berwick, who is a true American hero because he is among one of the real leaders of the movement to save American health care. Before coming to Washington, the organization he led, a small non-profit called the Institute for Health Improvement, organized and guided an effort in American hospitals that -- by doing simple, evidence things like hand washing, raising the bed when people are on a respirator, and other small but effective things -- saved more than 100,000 lives by some estimates. This little non-profit recruited over 3000 hospitals that had over 70% of the beds in the U.S. to participate in this effort to reduce preventable deaths.

Obama, recognizing his greatness, appointed him as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Or he tried to. Our do nothing -- or actually do nothing but screw the other side -- Congress opposed his appointment, so Obama did one of those sneaky interim appointments that Berwick to keep the position for 17 months before being forced out. The New York Times Joe Nocera did a great piece on him, check it out.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at January 6, 2012 1:12 AM
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