Why hasn't Obama appointed a Medicare/Medicaid adminstrator?
President Obama has made health care his top priority. He says the cost of Medicare and Medicaid is “the biggest threat” to the nation’s fiscal future. But to the puzzlement of Congress and health care experts around the country, Mr. Obama has not named anyone to lead the agency that runs the two giant programs.
The agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is the largest buyer of health care in the United States. Its programs are at the heart of efforts to overhaul the health care system. If it had an administrator, that person would be working with Congress on legislation and could be preparing the agency for a new, expanded role.
So, Obama doesn't want a Medicare/Medicaid administrator working with Congress then, right? I wonder why?
“The vacancy stands out like a sore thumb,” said Dr. Denis A. Cortese, president of the Mayo Clinic, often cited by the White House as a health care model.
“In effect,” Dr. Cortese said, “Medicare is the nation’s largest insurance company. The president and Congress function as the board of directors.
“Under a strong administrator, it could take the lead in making major changes in the health care delivery system, so we’d get better outcomes and better service at lower cost.”
So, Obama doesn't want a Medicare/Medicaid administrator taking the lead in making major changes, right? I wonder why?
Trying to remake the health care system without a Medicare administrator is like fighting a war without a general.
Well, that would depend on how you define the war, wouldn't it?
If the war is to make sure that the insurance companies have a guaranteed market, and their power in the system is increased relative to Medicare/Medicaid, then making sure that the Medicare/Medicaid side has no general would make a lot of sense.
We saw this same style of non-decision making once before at Treasury, where Obama's non-appointments meant that policy was essentially outsourced to the banksters, especially Goldman Sachs.
So, I'd guess that Obama hasn't appointed a Medicare/Medicaid administrator because he wants to outsource policy to the health insurance companies (and fuck the Medicare/Medicaid recipients).