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President Obama has ignited a political firestorm by using the recess appointment process to make Dr. Donald Berwick administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A recess appointment can bypass the Senate confirmation process.

Republicans are charging that Berwick is an advocate of health care rationing and highlighting what they say is an example of his praise of the United Kingdom’s national health system.

Berwick has said that the system “developed very good and very disciplined, scientifically grounded, policy-connected models for the evaluation of medical treatments from which we ought to learn,” according to a version of Berwick’s remarks circulated by Republicans.

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