Gupta Out? Howard Dean For Surgeon General!

deansg.jpgRumor has it” that Sanjay Gupta is out of the running to become the nation’s chief medical spokesperson. If a TV reporter-MD didn’t make the cut to be our next Surgeon General, then who can? Howard Dean!

The six-term Governor from Vermont just came out of a successful run as DNC chairman, and, judging by his recent onslaught of media appearances, he’s not exactly shy about discussing health care issues and pushing for health care reform.

Dean brings several qualities to the table:

– As a former governor, Dean has experience reforming the health care system (he expanded universal health care for children and pregnant women in Vermont).

– As a doctor, Dean personalizes the health care debate and can credibly debunk critics who argue that health reform would “ration” care.

– He has the ability to distill complicated health care wonkery into every day language.

– Dean recently said that real health reform requires a public option. He will challenge Obama to stick to progressive health principles.

– He is very good at staying on message (especially when it comes to health care reform). During our interview and in multiple media appearances, Dean reiterated his commitment to a public option (over and over again).

So it’s time for the media to stop asking Dean about the already-filled HHS position, and start asking about the (soon-to-be) vacant surgeon general position.


Mediabistro is reporting that Gupta has withdrawn his name from consideration.

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,Greg Sargent spoke to “a close Dean ally” about the SG position: “it’s not really a gig that would work for him. ‘It’s not a good fit for him,'” the source told him.

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