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A desire to continue practicing medicine also entered into his decision against pursuing the surgeon general's post, Gupta said on CNN. As far as the cut in pay, Gupta said "that's a sacrifice we were willing to make."
Political opposition had started to form.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., called Gupta inexperienced and circulated a letter urging Obama not to appoint him. Conyers is a leading supporter of health care reform that would create a government system similar to Canada's, and is particularly influential among liberals.
Gupta does have some Washington experience. During the Clinton administration, he served as a White House fellow and a special adviser to then-first lady Hillary Clinton.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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