What does it say that Obama's Surgeon General choice is overweight and used to work for Burger King?

Submitted by Eternity on Fri, 09/18/2009 - 22:24.

Bill Maher @ The Huffington Post - President Obama has identified all the problems with the health care system, but there's one tiny issue he refuses to tackle, and that's our actual health.  And get this: Surgeon General Benjamin had previously been a nutritional advisor to Burger King. The only advice a "health expert" should give Burger King is to stop selling food. The "nutritional advisor" job was described as, "promoting balanced diets and active lifestyle choices" -- and who better to do that than the folks who hand you meat and corn syrup through a car window? When you have a surgeon general who comes from Burger King, it's a message to lobbyists, and that message is, "Have it your way."  Read more.


CNN - Benjamin founded the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in 1990 in the fishing village of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, and has served as its CEO since.

Like many of her patients, the clinic has suffered its own life-threatening challenges. It was heavily damaged by Hurricane Georges in 1998 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It also burned to the ground several years ago. But Benjamin rebuilt it after each setback and has continued to offer medical care to the village's 2,500 residents.

Her commitment to them has meant making house calls during the rebuilding, mortgaging her house and maxing out her credit cards, Obama said.

"Regina Benjamin has refused to give up; her patients have refused to give up," he said.

Many of her family practice patients are immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos who make up a third of Bayou La Batre's population, and many of them are uninsured.

Benjamin's expertise goes beyond medicine; she earned a master's in business administration in 1991 from Tulane University. But her focus has not been on making money for herself, she said.

"My priority has always been the needs of my patients," she said. "I decided to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay."  Read more.

Toby Cosgrove

  I don't know, Eternity?  Would the answer be--"it's just good business?"  Afterall, we are a people on the go.  Is that changing?  Don't the best and most beautiful among us still grab a bite on their way to a corporate meeting?  If so, then why not hire the doctor, who reinvented fast food? 

NEO is wrestling with it's own image of what constitutes the Good Doctor in America.  For example, the PD today tries to put a benevolent spin on the Cleveland Clinic's Toby Cosgrove and his insensitive remarks about obesity in America. 

What they don't say in the article is that obesity, like smoking, doesn't make money for the medical industry.  It's a chronic condition afflicting mostly poor folks unable to pay for expensive, quick-fix solutions like bariatric treatment.  And so it goes. 

We aren't really concerned about slow food, healthy food and EVERYONE's overall health and welfare in America.  The almighty dollar is the bottomline.

Howard Deal was a better choice

Smoking causes cancer and heart disease and obesity causes diabetes and heart disease.  These are the biggest money makers in the health industry.  So YES, they are big money makers.  My parents, suffering with all the aforementioned conditions, were always poor or working class, but you better believe the doctors, hospitals, Big Pharma and insurance agencies made wads of cash off of them.

Just who do you think is buying most of the insulin?  It's the poor and working class.

Please get the facts straight, 'cause this is a no-disinformation zone.

And what's this talk about "the beautiful"?  Nevemind the pretty outside, health comes from within.  So let's not muddy the waters; as being in good health is not synonymous with vanity.

Surely you know the difference?

"The almight dollar is the bottom line" you say.  No argument there, but since when has fast food been reinvented?  You were kidding right?

And since when does having a complex, 21st Century schedule, justify poor eating choices?  And exactly who is this "we" that's not concerned about slow food and healthy food?  Would you be referring to Obama; he and his advisors (now that Van Jones is gone) is that the we? 

I don't say this in sarcasm.  If you could see my face right now, you would have no doubts that I'm dead serious in asking these questions.

Howard Dean was a better choice for Surgeon General.  That was abundantly clear.  But Howard Dean, unlike Obama's current pick, is not a corporate whore.  So not surprisingly, he got passed over.

And here's the kicker, why ain't FOX crying, kicking and screaming in protest against Ms. Benjamin; but raised all kinds of hell over Van Jones and Howard Dean? 

Ain't that a bitch.

But another question too is when and why is it insensitive to deal with the fact that America has a horrific obesity problem that has gone unaddressed for far too long?  I mean, if a person was trying to give up cigarettes, would it be advisable to send them to a quitting clinic where the director is known to be a practicing smoker?

How much sense would (does) that make?

Is it insensitive to try and work with someone to get them to give up smoking?

Being obese is nothing to be ashamed of, but pretending like it's not a serious health concern, most certainly is.

For some, obesity does come with a stigma.  Thus the stigma of obesity needs to be removed...no doubt about it.  However, putting an overweight advocate for Burger King in the most high-profile health position in the nation, is not the best way to transcent this ism or its real life consequences.

There were far too many better options that Obama could and should have chosen for this position, but instead he chose to go with a "feel good" option; playing on the sympathy of the masses, instead of dealing with facts on the ground.

The President may hold the heartstrings of many, but he ain't got mine.  Emotional manipulation, it's Obama's M.O.

Though just because he has some aversion to the unvarnished truth, doesn't mean that I and others should be subjected to his Faustian deals.

This was a bad decision and he does not deserve another hail mary pass.


Howard Dean was a better choice

  You'll get no argument from me there, Eternity.  Everything is a hail mary pass these days.  We are on the same team.  Don't worry about me.  I am just praying for our quarterback right now.