Former Commissioner of Social Security, Michael Astrue, testified before some House subcommittee yesterday. The article I'm getting this from says it was the "Health Subcommittee" but the House Ways and Means Committee site doesn't show its Health Subcommittee having a hearing this week. Anyway, Astrue was there to trash Donald Berwick, who is running for governor of Massachusetts. Berwick used to be head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Astrue was blaming Berwick for the terrible rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
The big problem with Astrue's criticism of Berwick is that Berwick left his position as head of CMS twenty-three months ago. Maybe the early planning for the Affordable Care Act rollout was lacking but most of the rollout preparation happened after Berwick left office. How much of the responsibility can one legitimately lay on Berwick? It's also clear from the description of Astrue's testimony that Astrue simply has a personal distaste for Berwick. I don't know whether Astrue's feelings are justified but they are irrelevant to the question of responsibility for the rollout of the Affordable Care Act or Berwick's qualifications for governor of Massachusetts.