Bypassing the Senate confirmation process, President Obama July 7 appointed Donald Berwick administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Obama put Berwick in the job through a recess appointment, allowing him to serve without Senate confirmation. Such appointments only can be made while Congress is in recess. Berwick can stay in his position through the end of 2011.
Berwick was facing a difficult confirmation battle as Republicans have opposed him since he was nominated for the post in April, claiming past statements he has made indicate he supports health care rationing and the British National Health Service.