Tuesday, July 14, 2009
President Obama's choice of a new Surgeon General yesterday was symbolic and smart. Dr. Regina Benjamin is a doctor who has long served the rural poor and is vocal about the need for healthcare for everyone. Obama, of course, is determined to reform health care this year with a bill that already is bogging in Congress. The choice of a person who has personal knowledge of health care delivery at the bottom of society provides Obama with a visible sign of commitment. It is good PR for what he is trying to do. The Surgeon General is a post without power except that of persuasion. It is in itself a PR job. If Dr. Benjamin wishes, she can add a powerful voice to national debate and support for healthcare reform.