Action expected on Murthy’s surgeon general nomination
Dr. Vivek Murthy may learn more soon about whether he’s on track to become the nation’s next surgeon general.
While a Senate panel approved his nomination last week, Senate Republicans signaled that Murthy, a Harvardand Yale-trained internist and international health activist in his mid-30s, won’t receive unanimous approval in the full Senate vote. But new rules likely will enable Democrats to bypass any GOP filibuster attempt. A date has not been scheduled for the vote.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) expressing “serious concerns” about Murthy’s nomination and asking that it be held. Paul doesn’t like that Murthy is a co-founder of Doctors for America, a pro-Obamacare group.
Paul, a physician and expected 2016 presidential candidate, said the main goals of Doctors for America have been promoting gun control and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He criticized Murthy for calling guns a public health issue on par with heart disease. “As a physician, I am deeply concerned that he has advocated that doctors use their position of trust to ask patients, including minors, details about gun ownership in the home,” Paul wrote.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a written statement that “Dr. Murthy is obviously talented, but his experience does not measure up to the stature and leadership expected of our surgeons general.”
During the Senate panel hearing, Murthy promised he would focus on public health education, not politics. Paul, who serves on the committee, did not attend the hearing.