Senate Republicans Push to Oust Medicare Chief

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar | March 3, 2011 | 11:29 AM EST

Washington (AP) - Republicans stymied in their efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law are taking a new tack: going after the official in charge of carrying it out.

Forty-two Republican senators have written Obama asking him to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick as Medicare administrator. That job carries major responsibilities under the health care overhaul, like setting up new insurance markets.

Republicans would need only 40 votes to block Berwick's confirmation, and the letter signals they have more than enough.

Berwick, a pediatrician, is a well-known medical innovator. But Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah says Berwick lacks experience in insurance regulation and his past statements praising the British health care system mark him as a proponent of big government.