Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Non-Transparency on Berwick Nomination

Given this morning’s scheduling conflicts, Sen. Grassley just asked CMS Administrator Berwick whether he would be willing to appear at another congressional hearing after Thanksgiving to answer senators’ questions.  Chairman Baucus interrupted Sen. Grassley to say that calling a hearing was his prerogative – and then refused to commit to a follow-up hearing after Thanksgiving.  This development comes after Chairman Baucus delivered a nearly 10-minute opening statement, and Dr. Berwick himself took more than the allotted five minutes for his opening statement (which the Chairman encouraged him to do).

Dr. Berwick also reiterated that he could not disclose information about the donations received by the organization he previously headed, which some may view as not consistent with the Administration’s promise of “an unmatched level of transparency” in government.