Prospects un­cer­tain for sur­geon gen­eral nom­i­nee

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS - —Paul Demko

With Repub­li­cans set to take con­trol of the Se­nate, Dr. Vivek Murthy’s last chance for con­fir­ma­tion as sur­geon gen­eral is the lame-duck Se­nate ses­sion that ends this week.

Murthy’s nom­i­na­tion has been hung up for a year, in part over com­ments he made be­fore his nom­i­na­tion about gun vi­o­lence as a pub­lic health is­sue. That ini­tially made Democrats hes­i­tant to back his can­di­dacy. But now, there seems to be re­newed support.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) came out last week for Murthy, who would be the first In­dian-Amer­i­can sur­geon gen­eral. “Dr. Murthy brings an en­tre­pre­neur­ial fo­cus, and he is com­mit­ted to us­ing tech­nol­ogy to ex­pand our out­reach on health and well­ness in in­nov- ative ways,” Warner said. Demo­cratic Sens. Jon Tester of Mon­tana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas re­port­edly also are back­ing the nom­i­na­tion.

More than 100 health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Physi­cians and the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion, signed a let­ter last month urg­ing se­na­tors to ap­prove the nom­i­na­tion. Dr. Robert Wer­gin, pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Academy of Fam­ily Physi­cians, said the lack of pub­lic knowl­edge about Ebola shows the need to con­firm a sur­geon gen­eral who can lead the na­tion’s pub­lic health con­ver­sa­tion.

But for­mer Sur­geon Gen­eral Dr. Richard Car­mona, who served un­der Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, sent a let­ter to se­na­tors op­pos­ing the nom­i­na­tion.

If the Democrats can’t line up 51 votes this week, Murthy’s nom­i­na­tion is doomed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.