Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Bit More on the Good Doctor

So a bit of a kerfuffle has arisen online over the Gupta / Moore run-in about Sicko (Moore's health care film, which I never got around to seeing).

The bottom line seems to be that Gupta and CNN came off pretty badly and as Paul Krugman points out it would seem to be bad for accountability etc to appoint Gupta to Surgeon General. While this is true, Ezra Klein has a great breakdown of the Gupta / Moore spat and wraps up by agreeing with Krugman but also pointing out that that only means Gupta is probably even better at supporting health care reform...

Krugman says that the problem with Gupta's performance was that it was another example of elites engaging in "Village" behavior. He's right about that. But at the end of the day, if the villagers support Obama's heath reform plan, it has a far better shot than if they don't. That's why Gupta's hire is good for health reform, even if it's not good for pundit accountability.
Klein was also on Olbermann's show last night and he made a great point that in terms of public education there is no one better qualified than Gupta and further that his selection as Surgeon General is likely another sign of a very strong commitment to health care reform. The Obama administration will have a former Senate Leader (Tom Daschle) to get things through Congress and the nation's most recognizable Doctor to explain things to and lobby the public.

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