By Bill O'Reilly
Dr. Donald Berwick, a professor at the Harvard Medical School, has been appointed to be the director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Usually the doctor would have to be vetted and approved by the Senate, but because Congress is on holiday, President Obama has simply appointed him without any vetting at all.
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is actually criticizing the president for the move. But Mr. Baucus had months to schedule hearings on Dr. Berwick and didn't, so the president decided to take unilateral action.
Now both Republican and Democrat presidents have done this in the past when they had controversial guys they thought might get beat up in the Senate. And there's no question Dr. Berwick is a controversial guy, a man who believes America should redistribute income to the poor by using the health care industry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DONALD BERWICK, MEDICARE CHIEF: Sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker. And that any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And Dr. Berwick will have a lot to redistribute. Medicare and Medicaid have larger budgets than the Defense Department.
So what does this all mean to you? Well, a few things.
No. 1, it confirms that President Obama is a far-left guy. There's simply no doubt about it anymore. Americans elected him on the promise he would be moderate left, but he's not. The president believes the government has a moral obligation to take assets -- money -- from those who have and deliver it to those who do not have. That is a fundamental hard-left position. Period.
Also, the appointment of Dr. Berwick means that those dependent on the feds for health care will have their options limited. The system cannot survive unless payments to doctors and medical services are cut, and Berwick will do that. He has to.
The unintended consequences of Obamacare will be many. In fairness, Americans with lower incomes should do better because the feds will pay most of their bills. But the majority of Americans could very well do worse. Right now, it's impossible to know.
What we do know is that Dr. Donald Berwick is now a big kahuna without any, any public exposure.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Happy birthday, Ringo Starr. He is 70 years old -- 70 -- and celebrated on Wednesday in New York City.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, peace and love.
RINGO STARR, MUSICIAN: We have Iraq and we have Afghanistan. Yes, and we have very brave boys over there doing an incredible job. But you know, I can still promote peace and love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
There you go, Ringo. The other surviving Beatle, Paul McCartney, 68. And the Beatles are patriots for entertaining so many people.
On the pinhead front, you make the call. Jimmy Buffett gave a free concert to help people affected by the oil spill. One problem: He is politicizing the situation. Buffett told the Associated Press:
"To me it was more about eight years of bad policy before [Obama] got there that let this happen. It was Dracula running the blood bank in terms of oil and leases. I think that has more to do with it than how the president reacted to the spill."
Is Buffett a pinhead for blaming the spill on the Bush administration? You make the call.