Thomas Bowdler was an English physician whose desire to publish an edition of Shakespeare amenable to 19th-century sensibilities led him to sanitize many of the Bard’s juiciest passages. The result was predictably risible. One of his most hilarious revisions was to change Lady Macbeth’s cri de coeur, “Out, damned spot,” to “Out, crimson spot!” As absurd as it was, this project did preserve the good doctor’s name for posterity in the verb “bowdlerize.” And it would be difficult to come up with a better term to describe what the establishment media have attempted to do with the record of Donald Berwick, the Harvard pediatrician whom our President just appointed Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Although most Americans had probably never heard of Berwick before last Wednesday’s recess appointment, he is well-known in the health care industry. And there, as the Swan of Avon would put it, is the rub. He has written and spoken extensively, and his views concerning wealth redistribution, rationing, and the free market are very much at odds with those of mainstream health policy experts as well as the electorate. Moreover, he has not been reticent about revealing his positions in writing and public statements. This is one of the reasons Obama chose to bypass the Senate confirmation process and it is why Democrat-friendly journalists and bloggers have worked diligently, since his nomination last April, to bowdlerize Berwick’s record.
One of the most disingenuous attempts to sanitize Berwick’s radical views was produced by the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn: “He’ll redistribute wealth… That’s what Republicans said about President Barack Obama… Now they’re saying it about Donald Berwick.” In other words, the GOP has fired up its mythical “noise machine.” A quick perusal of Berwick’s positions, however, makes it obvious that the Republicans haven’t distorted his record at all. Here’s one of his most widely publicized assertions on health reform: “Any healthcare funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane, must redistribute wealth…” Such statements make it difficult to honestly argue that Berwick is not for redistribution.
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Read More: By David Catron, American Spectator