Are you ready for another Donald Berwick update?

It was reported, as you may recall, last week that President Obama had sent the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to the Senate-even though Berwick already has a recess appointment and is untouchable and will serve as head of Medicare and Medicaid until 2011.

 This week we learn that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin (D-Mich.) is refusing to allow the Senate to question Berwick. This is all very odd.

 “At a time when Democrats have implemented the most radical changes ever to the nation’s health care system, they are refusing to conduct the proper and necessary oversight required by the Committee,” Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Camp told Human Events.

 Berwick is an avowed fan of the UK’s NHS, and the refusal to allow questioning also comes at a time when the UK is making sweeping moves to radically change that widely-disparaged system. The Human Events story has links to various UK news reports.  

Human Events quotes this gem:

One of the new goals included in the sweeping changes listed on page three at the link sums up all you need to know about Britain’s big government health care: 

4. a. Shared decision-making will become the norm: no decision about me without me. [Emphasis in the original.]

Let me get this straight: The UK is recognizing the need for a patient to be involved in decision-making–just at the moment Dr. Berwick is offering to help us benighted Americans with our healthcare decisions?