Barton invites CMS chief to brief committee

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is calling on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Donald Berwick to brief the House Energy and Commerce Committee before the end of the lame-duck session.

Earlier this month, Berwick provided his first testimony to Congress since his recess appointment. After the Senate Finance Committee hearing, Republicans complained they were not given enough time to question the CMS chief.

"Although I was happy to see you finally appear before a Congressional committee to discuss both your work at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), you would agree that your time before the Senate Finance Committee was short," Barton wrote in a Monday letter to Berwick.

Barton, who is seeking the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship, asked Berwick to brief the committee's Republican members, and he also invited Democrats to participate.

"I believe many would respond favorably to your willingness to brief Members of the House before the Majority changes hands in the new year," Barton said.

Berwick has been heavily criticized by Republicans, who claim he wants to ration seniors' healthcare.