US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Enzi: Public Deserves Full Examination of Berwick and Gotbaum Appointments

Wednesday, July 07, 2010Craig Orfield (202) 224-6770

Washington, D.C – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, made the following statement on President Obama’s decision to bypass Senate procedure to appoint Donald Berwick as Director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Joshua Gotbaum as Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PGBC):

“The President skipped the Congressional approval process and snuck Dr. Berwick into this critical role without giving the public any opportunity to hear his controversial views about how he intends to implement the unpopular health care law rammed through Congress earlier this year. 

“This decision, to put a proponent of health care rationing in charge of Medicare without even a public hearing, is one more example of the Administration’s unwise approach to reforming health care.

“Mr. Gotbaum’s appointment at the PBGC is equally concerning.  As one of the most important safeguards of our nation’s retirees, Gotbaum will inherit a $22 billion deficit at the PBGC and must ensure that pension payments can be covered for the 44 million employees and retirees.  Significant improvements must be made at the agency.

“I recognize that the President holds the power to appoint these individuals during recess and cut out Congress and the public from the process, but that doesn’t mean it is a wise course of action and I strongly disagree with it.  This Administration appears less and less intent on creating transparency and accountability and more interested in forcing their partisan agenda on the American people.”

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