Donald Berwick, an admirer of the British single-payer health system and a man who “openly celebrates rationing” (in the words of Obamacare expert Sally Pipes), has set a December 2 date as his last day as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

A recess appointment by President Obama, Berwick had so much opposition from GOP senators that he simply could not have been confirmed. Needless to say, in announcing Berwick’s imminent departure, the administration didn’t miss an opportunity to knock Republicans. The New York Times reported:

Jamie E. Smith, a deputy White House press secretary said: “Don Berwick did outstanding work. It’s unfortunate that a small group of senators obstructed his nomination, putting political interests above the best interests of the American people.”

Granny and Gramps might beg to differ.

The Berwick announcement was made Wednesday, a day when most people were thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday, a sign that the White House wanted to bury the story. Alana Goodman calls Berwick's departure “a major scalp for Republicans in the health care battle.”

Of course, the question now is whether Marilyn Tavenner, CMS acting administrator, former nurse and hospital executive, who has been nominated as Berwick’s replacement, is going to be more acceptable.Politico quotes a source saying there will likely not be much GOP support for the nomination. This piece on The American Thinker suggests that the opponents of Obamacare are likely to find much to dislike in the Tavenner nomination.

Tavenner is known to oppose block granting Medicaid money to the states, a key item on the agenda of many Republicans. Goodman suggests that her confirmation battle will be high-profile and that the president may see it as a way to energize his base.

So here we go again.