And they get to play Robin Hood in lab coats. "You could have protected the wealthy and the well," he said, "instead of recognizing that sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker, and that any health care funding plan that is just must redistribute wealth."
Last June, after President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus law that included funding for a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, thus pre-positioning the federal infrastructure that would be needed to guide federal health care rationing decisions under a new national health care system, Berwick gave an interview to Biotechnology Healthcare that was brought to light this week in a report by Fred Lucas of CNSNews.com.
Berwick explained that there are three steps to "comparative effectiveness research." The first is to determine whether a therapy works or not. The second is to determine how well the therapy works compared to other therapies. The third is to do a cost-benefit analysis.
"If a new drug or procedure is effective, and has some advantage over existing alternatives," Berwick said, "then does the incremental benefit justify the likely additional cost?"
Now, in a free country where people freely chose to pay for their own health care with their own money, this is a good question for any prudent consumer. It is exactly that "free market force" that Berwick implored the British socialists not to put their faith in.
But in a country where the government has taken regulatory and fiscal control of the health care system -- where the state is subsidizing most people's care -- and where government bureaucrats make the decisions about who gets what treatment, this question is not the animating moving force behind the invisible hand of the market, it is the dark materialistic spirit behind the iron hand of a life-and-death tyranny.
In the socialistic health care system that Berwick envisions -- and that President Obama signed into law two months ago -- life-and-death rationing is inevitable.
"The decision is not whether or not we will ration care," Berwick told Biotechnology Healthcare, "the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."
President Obama has nominated Berwick to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the federal agency that runs these two massive proto-socialist health care programs. If confirmed, he will oversee the massive cuts that Obamacare mandated in Medicare.
He will do the cost-benefit analysis on your life or on the life of a loved one.
Unless, of course, too many incumbent senators make the self-diagnosis that a vote to confirm would result in the premature end of their sickly political lives.