Here is the intro:
If you're like most Americans, you had probably never heard of Donald Berwick before July 7, when President Obama installed him as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). And, unless you're a health policy wonk, the news that Obama circumvented the normal Senate confirmation process with a recess appointment probably elicited no response beyond a briefly raised eyebrow and a stifled yawn.(Read the full text of "Donald Berwick's Motto? Rationing for Thee, but not for Me".)
But this CMS decision deserves another look. Dr. Berwick has been granted the power to reach out and touch you in ways undreamed of by higher profile appointees like Elena Kagan. Whether you're paying attention or not, he will have a profound impact on the quality of your life...
The arrogance of government officials like Berwick is astounding in a two-fold way.
First, they believe they are qualified to set draconian rules over the lives of the citizenry, because we are unable to make such decisions for ourselves. The typical excuse given is that it's for our own good or for some nebulous "common good".
But by exempting themselves from their own rules, they recognize (at some level) that these rules are actually bad for the individuals involved -- but they don't care.
This isn't just isolated to health care. We've seen this in the global warming debate, where officials lecture us about our "carbon footprints", while jetsetting around the globe to conferences, sanctimoniously criticizing the industrial society that makes their luxury plans possible.
Or officials who have tried to deny citizens 2nd Amendment rights, while using their positions in government to make sure they (or their bodyguards) can carry weapons for self-defense.
Such men view themselves as special -- and the rest of us as merely subjects to be ruled. This runs antithetical to the American ideal of the government being our servants, to protect our individual rights -- not our masters.
The more quickly Americans wake up to this fact, the more quickly we can remove them from power before it's too late. Catron's OpEd is another much-needed alarm bell for our country. Let's hope Americans are listening.