President Obama will nominate Vivek Hallegere Murthy for Surgeon General, Politico and others reported on Thursday. Murthy, the founder of Doctors for America, was appointed to the President's Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health in 2011. The prevention group was created as part of the Affordable Care Act health reform law.
His group, Doctors for America, was originally called Doctors for Obama. The nomination comes in the midst of the president's public defense of the health care reform law, as the administration faces criticism for the troubled healthcare.gov federal exchange site and a number of cancelled insurance plans that don't meet the new minimum requirements. On Thursday, the president addressed that latter issue by announcing a 1-year grace period for insurance companies canceling policies in the wake of the reforms.
As Doctors for Obama, the organization of 10,000 physicians and medical students helped to campaign for Obama's election. The group was relaunched as an advocacy group for affordable healthcare in 2009, and renamed Doctors for America. In other words, this nomination isn't going to be well-received by conservatives. For a preview of those criticisms, take a look at a 2009 article from Michelle Malkin. Title: "Spin Doctors for Obamacare."
Now, the organization has 16,000 members. Murthy is currently an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School. If his nomination is confirmed, Murthy would take over for Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak and serve a four-year term. Former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin resigned in July.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.