Meet the Man Behind Health Care Reform

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If you’ve heard of Donald Berwick, the new chief of Medicare and Medicaid, chances are good that what you’ve heard has been pretty scary. Charges levels by Republicans critical of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) include: He wants to create a British-style health care in the U.S.! He wants to ration care! He has secret ambitions to sacrifice health to save money!

Stepping back from the hyperbolic — and largely inaccurate — criticisms leveled at Berwick so far, I take a look today at what he has said and written over the years to get some insight on how he might approach his new job. Berwick’s new gig, by the way, is probably the most critical one in U.S. health care and includes managing a budget larger than the Pentagon’s, providing health insurance for more than 100 million Americans, and guiding implementation of the (ACA).

For perspective on how the new sweeping law will affect how health care happens in the U.S., check out my story about Berwick on today.