This is not a political blog. I have opinions, certainly, but don't usually air them here. That said, I have thus far been exceedingly underwhelmed by what our president has done.
Today, though, I was pleasantly surprised and even excited when I learned that Obama nominated a family practice doctor as the new surgeon general. Even though I am wary of what his plans are for health care, by nominating a family practice doctor, he has at least signaled that he understands the importance of good primary care doctors, and hopefully part of his "overhaul" will be compensating primary care doctors better. And I'm not saying this because I would benefit from such a change. By increasing pay to family practice and other primary care docs, more and better physicians will stay in primary care, which will be better for patients in the long run, and cheaper for our nation as a whole. First of all, primary care docs are uniquely suited to coordinate care, and can make sure that the sickest patients, who always have numerous doctors, are being treated appropriately. Secondly, many specialists like to refer patients for costly procedures. Some of these are medically indicated, but sometimes a primary care doctor might be able to treat the problem without having the test. Thirdly, many people rely on emergency departments to get their primary care. Going to the ER results in much higher costs, and often treatable problems become devastating when patients wait until it's an emergency.
Stepping down off my soap box. And, at least for today, saying, "Thanks, Mr. President. Good job."