Recess Appointment: President Obama Names Head Of Medicare And Medicaid : The Two-Way Dr. Donald M. Berwick is widely liked by health policy experts, but not by many Republicans.

Recess Appointment: President Obama Names Head Of Medicare And Medicaid

With the Senate in recess, on its Independence Day break, President Obama will use his power to sidestep lawmakers and appoint his choice to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Donald Berwick, currently the head of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a think tank dedicated to making healthcare better, safer and less expensive, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

According to NPR's Julie Rovner, he is considered something of a rock star in the health policy community, but he has faced strong Republican opposition.

"Republicans in the Senate want to use Berwick's nomination to re-debate the health law he would be in charge of helping implement," she says. "They have made it clear they would stall the proceedings indefinitely.

Robert Pear, a reporter for The New York Times, says "the president's action will give the administration a strong voice to defend provisions of the new law that have come under almost daily attack from Republicans in Congress and in political campaigns around the country."

Berwick has the backing of the American Medical Association (AMA), the AARP, and former President George W. Bush's administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mark McClellan.

The recess appointment will let Berwick serve until the end of next year, or until the full Senate can confirm him.