Donald Berwick

Donald Berwick: The Radical Technocrat Pushing Single-Payer

Berwick is the radical Technocrat that Democrats are turning to for health care makeover. He “believes passionately in a society ruled by a technocratic elite” where patients should be managed like a herd of animals.

Don’t mistakenly assume that the Technocrat mind is limited to one political party or the other. Technocracy cuts through all political parties and plans on the elimination of them all when it gains total control. ⁃ TN Editor

Donald Berwick is one of the dangerous men Democrats are using to try to make single-payer health care a reality in the United States.

If anyone had doubts about the radical nature of Democrats’ health care agenda, they needn’t look further than the second name on the witness list for this Wednesday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing on single-payer health care: Donald Berwick of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

If that name sounds familiar, it should. In summer 2010, right after Obamacare’s passage, President Obama gave Berwick a controversial recess appointment to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Democrats refused to consider Berwick’s nomination despite controlling 59 votes in the Senate at the time, and he had to resign as CMS administrator at the end of his recess appointment in late 2011.

Berwick’s History of Radical Writings

Even a cursory review of Berwick’s writings explains why Obama’s only option was to push him through with a recess appointment, and why Democrats refused to give Berwick so much as a nomination hearing. As someone who read just about everything he wrote until his nomination—thousands of pages of journal articles, books, and speeches—I know the radical nature of Berwick’s thinking all too well. He believes passionately in a society ruled by a technocratic elite, thinking that a core group of government planners can run the country’s health care system better than individual doctors and patients.

Here is what this doctor believes in, in his own words:

  • Socialized Medicine: “Cynics beware: I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it. All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country.”
  • Control by Elites: “I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do.”
  • Wealth Redistribution: “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 less fortunate.”
  • Shutting Medical Facilities: “Reduce the total supply of high-technology medical and surgical care and consolidate high-technology services into regional and community-wide centers … Most metropolitan areas in the United States should reduce the number of centers engaging in cardiac surgery, high-risk obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, organ transplantation, tertiary cancer care, high-level trauma care, and high-technology imaging.”
  • End of Life Care: “Most people who have serious pain do not need advanced methods; they just need the morphine and counseling that have been available for centuries.”
  • Cost-Effectiveness Rationing of Care: “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care—the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
  • Doctors Putting “The System” over their Patients: “Doctors and other clinicians should be advocates for patients or the populations they service but should refrain from manipulating the system to obtain benefits for them to the substantial disadvantage of others.”
  • Standardized “Cookbook Medicine”: “I would place a commitment to excellence—standardization to the best-known method—above clinician autonomy as a rule for care.”

For those who want a fuller picture of Berwick’s views, in 2010-11 I compiled a nearly 30-page dossier featuring excerpts of his beliefs, based on my comprehensive review of his prior writings and speeches. That document is now available online here, and below.

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5G

5G And Internet Of Things To Create Unprecedented Surveillance

Are citizens required to passively sit by while the manacles of scientific dictatorship are clamped around their necks? More people recognize the encroachment, but not enough to slow or stop it. ⁃ TN Editor

Convenience is the sales pitch, but the real goal is control in service of maximizing profits and extending state power.

When every device in your life is connected to the Internet (the Internet of Things), your refrigerator will schedule an oil change for your car–or something like that–and it will be amazingly wunnerful. You’ll be able to lower the temperature of your home office while you’re stuck in a traffic jam, while your fridge orders another jar of pickles delivered to your door.

It’s all in service of convenience, the god all Americans are brainwashed to worship. Imagine the convenience of turning on the light while seated on your sofa! Mind-boggling convenience at your fingertips–and since you’re already clutching your smart phone 24/7, convenience is indeed at your fingertips.

It’s also about control, and as we lose control of everything that’s actually important in our lives, the illusion of agency/control is a compelling pitch. Imagine being able to program your fridge to order a quart of milk delivered when it gets low but not order another jar of pickles when that gets low! Wow! That’s control, yowzah.

The Internet of Things is indeed about control–not your control, but control over you– control of what’s marketed to you, and control of your behaviors via control of the incentives, distractions and micro-decisions that shape behavior.

The control enabled by the Internet of Things starts with persuasion and quickly slides into coercion. Since corporations and government agencies will have a complete map of your movements, purchases, consumption, communications, etc., then behavior flagged as “non-beneficial” will be flagged for “nudging nags”, while “unsanctioned” behavior will be directed to the proper authorities.

Say you’re visiting a fast-food outlet for the fourth time in a week. Your health insurance corporation has set three visits a week as a maximum, lest your poor lifestyle choices start costing them money for treatments, so you get a friendly “reminder” to lay off the fast food or make “healthier” choices off the fast food menu.

Failure to heed the “nudges” will result in higher premiums or cancelled coverage. Sorry, pal, it’s just business. Your “freedom” doesn’t extend to costing us money.

Domestic corporate versions of China’s social credit score will proliferate. Here is evidence that such scores already exist:

Everyone’s Got A “Surveillance Score” And It Can Cost You Big Money (Zero Hedge)

Then there’s the surveillance. The Internet of Things isn’t just monitoring energy use and the quantity of milk in a fridge; it’s monitoring you–not just in your house, car and wherever you take your Personal Surveillance Device, i.e. your smart phone, but everywhere you go.

If you are a lookie-loo shopper–you browse the inventory but rarely buy anything–expect to be put in Category Three–zero customer service, and heightened surveillance in case your intent is to boost some goodies (shoplift).

Heaven help you if you start spending time reading shadow-banned websites like Of Two Minds: your social credit standing moves into the red zone, and your biometric scans at airports, concerts, retail centers etc., will attract higher scrutiny. You just can’t be too sure about people who stray off the reservation of “approved” corporate media.

Your impulses are easy to exploit: since every purchase is tracked, your vulnerabilities to impulse buys will be visible with a bit of routine Big Data analysis, and so the price of the treats you succumb to will go up compared to the indifferent consumer next to you. Sorry, pal, it’s just business. Your vulnerabilities, insecurities and weaknesses are profit centers. We’d be foolish not to exploit them to maximize profits, because that is the sole mission of global corporations.

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electric

Claim: Cars Are Being Displaced By Electric Two-Wheelers

The war on carbon is in full swing in cities around the world with the rapid introduction and saturation of electric scooters and bicycles. Pedestrians and car owners are equally livid with the mess it is creating. ⁃ TN Editor

With the wind rushing through their hair, they zip past on bikes, electric scooters and mono-wheels, effortlessly passing lines of hot-and-bothered drivers stuck in the endless Paris traffic.

In the French capital, the new mobility revolution has caught on fast, with locals and tourists embracing the growing array of app-based ways to get around.

And with climate change bringing frequent heatwaves and more peak pollution alerts, Paris is beginning to push back against the dominance of the car.

Not only is the city upgrading its public transport system offering of interurban trains, buses and the metro, it is also enjoying an unparalleled explosion of alternatives.

“Our cities have been colonised by cars. They get into the smallest gaps, today we need to put them back into their proper place,” says Christophe Najdovski, the city’s deputy mayor who has responsibility for transport.

“In Paris, they are only used for 10 percent of daily trips but they take up 50 percent of the public space.”

But the city has been at the forefront of innovation, setting up a pioneering bike-share service back in 2007.

Known as Velib’, it has since been copied across the globe, from London to Chicago.

Then came the Autolib’ electric car-sharing scheme which was followed by a flood of dockless bikes, and then the overnight appearance of e-scooters that exploded onto the streets in the summer of 2018.

And that’s without mentioning other private mobility devices such as two-wheeled e-hoverboards or electric unicycles.

But is there enough space?

Not according to the taxi drivers, who are already infuriated with the growing demands on their space and the planned 1,000-kilometres (600 miles) of bike lanes that are due to be completed by 2020.

And the estimated 15,000 e-scooters on the streets have also triggered a backlash, with riders initially dumping them randomly on pavements, cluttering the curb and creating a nuisance for pedestrians.

“I’d like to slap them,” fumes Nordine, a woman in her 40s walking through the Marais district, muttering furiously about “the lack of public spirit”.

“Paris is a great playing field but the space is saturated. They need to bring it back down to two or three operators, like San Francisco, which has just two,” says Najdovski from the mayor’s office.

At its height, Paris had 13 companies running scooter fleets, but that number dropped to around seven earlier this month after the city brought in a raft of demands for operators.

Every day, there are some 41 million trips made in the Paris region, of which 15 million are by car and 10 million by public transport.

Since July 1, all diesel vehicles registered before 2006 have been banned from entering the city, but should the authorities go further and shut the entire city centre to cars?

Today, just over a third — 37 percent — of Parisian homes have a car, and that drops to one in five in the city centre, according to the mayor’s office.

“The priority is to enable city dwellers to get around,” says Jean-Pierre Orfeuil, an engineer who specialises in urban mobility.

“Generally speaking, those who are using these new means of transport are people who used to use the metro,” he said.

“So they haven’t played a role in easing the traffic.”

To get away from fuel-powered vehicles, the focus should be on electric bikes, which could potentially help those living in the suburbs, he says.

But even there, the infrastructure is lacking.

“In France, we are two or three times worse off than Germany or the Netherlands” in terms of the number of electric bikes, he said.

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