Health Personalities: Nelson, Landrieu, Melancon, Regina Benjamin
News coverage today include profiles of various personalities in the national health picture.
Politico reports on Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who "used to be a popular figure back home, a Democrat who served eight years in the governor's office and was elected twice to the Senate by a state that's as red as the 'N' on football helmets. But Nelson has seen his approval ratings tumble in the wake of his wavering over the historic health care bill, his deal cutting with other Senate Democrats and, ultimately, his support to break a GOP filibuster and send the bill to a House-Senate conference committee" (Raju, 1/14).
Times-Picayune: "As Democratic congressional leaders work to hammer out a compromise health-care bill, the Louisiana delegation remains mostly opposed to the current versions, with Republicans backing a slimmed-down plan focused on reducing costs. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is the only voice in the nine-member delegation strongly supporting Democratic efforts. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, who is running for the Senate this fall against incumbent David Vitter, R-La., voted against the House-passed bill in November because it contained a public insurance option. He hasn't said whether he'll vote for the Senate version, which doesn't include the government-run offering" (Alpert, 1/13).
USA Today has a profile of new U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. "Benjamin, who refers to her new job as 'America's family doctor,' was sworn into office in November as the 18th surgeon general. Her commissioning ceremony was Monday." The job description of the Surgeon General includes overseeing "the 6,500-member U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The surgeon general is also the country's chief health educator. This week, for example, Benjamin is on the road in Detroit, speaking at an elementary school and a church, encouraging communities to get their flu vaccines" (Marcus, 1/13).