KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Pick Of Benjamin For Surgeon General Puts Primary Care In Spotlight

The new surgeon general is expected to focus on primary care.

The Wall Street Journal reports: "The president's choice for U.S. surgeon general, Regina Benjamin, puts a primary-care physician in a prominent role as the administration pushes to reorient the health-care system toward prevention and primary care. Dr. Benjamin, 52 years old, who has been part of the center studying health-care disparities at the National Institutes of Health, is expected to be a proponent of delivering more health care and medicine to the poor, minorities and rural areas. In her own family, Dr. Benjamin mentioned the loss of family members to smoking-related lung cancer, an HIV-related illness and diabetes. She pointed to these deaths as one of the reasons for her commitment to improve primary-care medicine in treating preventable diseases."

The Journal notes: "The administration and major groups representing doctors are discussing health-overhaul plans that could result in the government diverting some federal funds to primary care and away from specialty surgeries and diagnostic tests, according to representatives of physician societies and industry lobbyists" (Mundy, Zhang, 7/15).

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