Obama deservedly generated a lot of outrage when he deicided to recess appoint Donald Berwick to head up the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Jul 7, by passing the Senate confirmation process. But for whatever reason, Obama has decided to resubmit Berwick's name to the Senate for approval even though he already holds the job. The administration is down playing this is as "formality." But it seems that Obama is clearly looking to get some sort of seal of approval for the controversial nominee, even if it's being done ex post facto:

Obama’s effort to clear Berwick through the Senate on top of his recess appointment would grant his nominee the job indefinitely, as he would serve at “the pleasure of the president,” according to a White House aide.

The president originally nominated Berwick to the CMS post in April, but Republicans blocked the effort and have tied the nomination to their criticism of the health care overhaul. Obama broke the logjam earlier this month by using a recess appointment to install Berwick in the post, a tactic that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said illustrated the president’s attempt to “arrogantly circumvent the American people.”

Moe Lane also has some thoughts worth reading on why the White House changed their mind. Berwick is certainly a controversial appointee -- he has said that he is "romantic" about the British National Health Service, and ethusiastic about socialized medicine generally. Further, the White House's claim that Republicans were obstructing Berwick's nomination before a Senate hearing had even been scheduled was dubious. The idea that someone so powerful and in charge of allocating huge sums of money that would affect the health of every American would be put in place without being reviewed by elected representatives was a pretty galling exercise of power.