Reuters reports that President Obama will announce his surgeon general pick at around 11:30am-ish this morning.
Nope, it’s not Dr. Phil.
She’s Dr. Regina Benjamin, an Alabama rural physician.
Benjamin was the first black woman to head a state medical society, received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights and last fall received a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” the AP says.
She also made headlines in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in rebuilding her rural health clinic that serves 4,400 patients.
Benjamin will be another administration voice for S-CHIP and Obamacare:
Through her personal practice and advocacy work, Benjamin sees no easy solution to the problem, but hopes for a nationwide movement to provide universal health access for everyone in the country.
“I think there certainly can be a minimum benefit that everyone could have and then you could buy more on top of that if you wanted it,” she says. “It can’t just be a government program. It has to be something that everybody is a part of–government, private industry, individuals.”
She cites the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a federal- and state-sponsored program that aims to provide insurance to all uninsured children in the country, as a step in the right direction.
“Now, we need to cover the parents of those children,” she says. “If we do that, we’ve come a long way toward providing universal coverage.”
At Rose Garden ceremony announcing Dr. Benjamin, Obama insists his health care takeover plan is not dead:
“We are going to get this done.”