A “genius” voice for healthcare for all people

Yesterday, President Obama nominated Regina Benjamin, M.D. to become the next Surgeon General of the United States.  Dr. Benjamin’s background is impressive, from growing up in rural Alabama, attending medical school, working as a National Health Service Corps physican (in order to pay back her medical school loans), to sticking it out in New Orleans through at least a couple of major hurricanes, it would have been easy for her to move on to bigger and better things, but she didn’t.  Dr. Benjamin has shown her dedication to providing healthcare to all people – regardless of ability to pay – in the running of her own clinic, and was awarded a coveted MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “genius award” in 2008 for her work.

What Benjamin’s appointment means for the public health and primary care communities could be substantial.  As a committed primary care provider, Benjamin has espoused views that are in line with Pres. Obama’s views on access and the affordibility of healthcare – that is, everyone should have access to the care they need.  In her own professional endeavors, she earned an MBA so that she could more efficiently run the business aspects of her practice.  One would hope that if there is any politicial will left in Washington on matters relating to healthcare reform, physicians, nurses, psychologists, and others will no longer have to get a business degree in order to figure out how to provide care to their patients.  While the post of Surgeon General doesn’t have the same powers it once did, the potential for a more signifiant role in the Obama administration is encouraging to primary care providers, free clinics, and other public services struggling to keep their doors open.

Hopefully, America will benefit from having a genius in the office of Surgeon General.


Michael S.
Michael S8 years ago

Health care & health care reform. France, Canada, UK, we have all heard of the horror stories that exist within their health care packages. But hello we are not them, we do not have a package yet, but we do have the ability to learn from their mistakes and maybe they will revise from our learnings.
Got a letter from a senator last week. Said it's vacation time. Everyones headed off to the beaches, the mountains. And hopefully when the Senate resumes in a month they will be able to find resolution to a national health care package.
My response to him was simple. I told him I hoped he enjoyed his vacation and that when Senate resumed I hoped they could find a workable compromise.
As for me once again this year I would ot be able to see a Carolina Coast line for the first time. As I am unemployed, Have NO health coverage at all. A leg the is swollen up half again bigger than it should be, NO idea why. NO money to pay the Office fee, or to pay for what it takes to find out why. I am already carring over 3500.00 in Med. Debt. But I went on to say I hope you have a good vacation.
I didn't lie to him. Been in Carolina's 8 yrs. never seen the coast. Leg is swollen & can not afford to get it checked out. It amazes me sometimes the priority's that are set & the manner in which they are set. It's funny to think how a humane nation can be so in-humane when it comes to it's own people. What will we ever think of next.

Deb R.
Past Member 8 years ago

Healthcare should be affordable and available to everyone. It is a basic need. No one should have to choose between buying food or seeking medical attention. Pres. Obama should be supported in his efforts. It won't be easy. Dr. Benjamin seems to be a good choice for Surgeon General.

cesali m.
Cesali 'Sweetii8 years ago

President Obama has done it again, appointing someone with the education, values and years of service we can all aspire to. Many doctors are doing what they can to improve access for patients with no insurance. Read our story at The5DollarRevolution.com, a way to fund health care without raising taxes.

Susan T.
SUSAN T8 years ago

I hopd to God we can straighten out this aweful state of healthcare, where anyone from anywhere can get good healthcare and then leave the country without paying or apply for indigent care which is not allowed to working American citizens.

I think that if the insurance companies are going to be involved, then there needs to be total oversight. Maybe a good job for the Surgeon General! At least investigate and find out how so many people are refused treatment so that the insurance can add money to their coffers.

I would like to see the insurance companies not be involved at all. The Government already luts a price on all services with Medicare, So let the Doctors earn what they almost all are anyway. Maybe we will get better Dr.s if they are directed by "helping" rather than greed. Do away with Malpractice Suits unless the alledged misdeed comes under Government oversight. I'd like to weed out the mistake makers. And finally, no individual should become bankrupt due to medical reasons.

Back before Health Insurance, I was able to stay healthy, get care and raise four children. The Dr.s seemed to do a pretty good job of charginh the wealthy and "working with" the needy. It's the insurance co/s that got us into this mess.