"Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional. Britain, you chose well."
Was that a British socialist speaking in Parliament? Nope. It was Dr. Donald Berwick, a Harvard professor about to face Senate confirmation as President Obama's nominee to head Medicare and Medicaid.
Dr. Berwick has spent the last few years gushing over the awesomeness of the UK's government healthcare, including the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) which has become little more than a rationing panel for British patients.
This apparently made him a perfect fit for President Obama's healthcare agenda. With Medicare set to lose hundreds of billions in funding, someone with a knack for "cost control" needs to take the lead - and who better than a Harvard radical obsessed with Britain's socialized medicine program?
Just don't call him a radical. On Thursday, Time Magazine's Kate Pickert wrote a piece headlined "'Rationing' Is Back!" as a snarky rebuttal to Berwick's Republican critics. The fireworks took off in the very first paragraph: