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 CollinsTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Infrastructure vote fails; partisan feud erupts over Jan. 6 panel Senate falling behind on infrastructure MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBiden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Schumer sets up Wednesday infrastructure showdown MORE (Alaska), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal 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.