As one of his last official acts in the lame-duck Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rushed President Barak Obama’s pick for U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, to the floor for confirmation. The Senate confirmed him by a largely party line vote of 51 to 43 with six not voting.
Vivek is a foreign-born doctor from an Indian family. He was the co-founder of Doctors for Obama.
Nominated in February but stalled in the Senate by an unwillingness by members to go on the record in favor of such a controversial nominee in an election year, Dr. Murthy was met with instant opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its legislative arm National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) – and with good reason.
Dr. Murthy is a life-long gun control advocate who believes that gun ownership is a public health issue and that insurance companies should consider gun ownership as risk factor when establishing health insurance premiums.
Murthy goes further.
He believes that doctors should ask their patients about gun ownership and report what they learn to the government under the ObamaCare law. One problem. It is illegal to ask about gun ownership under ObamaCare – a clause inserted into the law on page 2037 at the urging of the NRA by Democratic members supporting the Second Amendment.
Speaking of the nominee, NRA-ILA Chairman Chris Cox said:
“Murthy’s record of political activism in support of radical gun control measures raises significant concerns about the likelihood he would use the office of Surgeon General to further his preexisting campaign against gun ownership.”
“In 2008, Dr. Murthy co-founded the organization “Doctors for Obama” in order to support the presidential campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama and his plans for health care reform. A year later, the group changed its name to “Doctors for America.”
A recent letter sent to Congress by “Doctors for America,” and signed by Dr. Murthy, urges mandatory licensing “for anyone purchasing guns and ammunition–including mandatory firearm safety training and testing.”
Cox also affirmed Murthy’s support for “limits on the purchase of ammunition” and establishing a “mandatory waiting period of at least 48 hour” on gun purchases.
Perhaps worst of all, Dr. Murthy advocates breaking doctor patient privacy by removing “the provision in the Affordable Care Act and other federal policies that prohibit physicians from documenting gun ownership.”
Dr. Murthy’s term as U.S. Surgeon General is four years but he serves at the pleasure of the president. That means he could be removed from his post by the next president following the 2016 elections.