Berwick: White House has my back

“The president nominated Don Berwick because he’s far and away the best person for the job, and he’s already doing stellar work at CMS: Saving taxpayer dollars by cracking down on fraud and implementing delivery-system reforms that will save billions in excess costs and save millions of lives,” Cherlin said in a statement.

Berwick’s past statements of support for Great Britain's National Health Service and his call for "rationing with our eyes open" created controversy when he took the lead of CMS, which manages about 100 million individuals. 

When House Ways and Means Committee Republicans grilled him about healthcare rationing views last month, Berwick said that he “abhors” rationing and has spent his career as a pediatrician fighting it.

After the hearing, Berwick told reporters that he hoped he put rationing fears aside, but Republicans have connected him to what they have portrayed as the administration’s efforts to ration care.

Berwick told reporters on Tuesday that he has not heard anything further on a possible confirmation hearing with the Senate Finance Committee, and he said he is willing to talk with any senators who signed onto last week’s letter.

The five Republican Senators who did not sign the letter included: Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Dems raise new questions about Pruitt's security | EPA rules burning wood is carbon neutral | Fourth GOP lawmaker calls for Pruitt's ouster | Court blocks delay to car efficiency fines How much does the FDA really do to promote public health? Trump aide: Mueller probe 'has gone well beyond' initial scope MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators press administration on mental health parity Overnight Energy: Watchdogs unveil findings on EPA, Interior controversies | GAO says EPA violated law with soundproof booth | IG says Zinke could have avoided charter flight | GOP chair probes Pruitt's four email addresses GOP fractures over push to protect Russia probe MORE (Alaska), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanTax rules will be subject to more OMB review under new memo Ending sex trafficking tomorrow requires preventing child abuse today Doctors bristle at push for opioid prescription limits MORE (Ohio) and Olympia Snowe (Maine).

Obama renominated Berwick at the end of January. Berwick's recess appointment allows him to serve through the end of this year.