A White House official says President Barack Obama will use the congressional recess to bypass the Senate and appoint Dr. Donald Berwick to oversee Medicare and Medicaid. Berwick is an expert on patient care who's drawn fire from Republicans.
The official disclosed the so-called recess appointment on condition of anonymity Tuesday because it was not yet public. The appointment was expected to be made Wednesday, with lawmakers on their annual July Fourth break.
The decision means Berwick will not have to undergo Senate confirmation hearings. Republicans have indicated they're prepared to oppose him over comments he's made on rationing medical care. Democrats want to avoid a confirmation fight that could reopen the health care debate.
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