Holder Health Scare Highlights Questions About Obama

Holder Health Scare Highlights Questions About Obama
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President Obama has not undergone a complete medical examination since well before his re-election -- apparently not since October 2011, according to public records.

The importance of medical assessments for any president, vice president and cabinet members came into sharper relief Thursday as 63-year-old Attorney General Eric Holder was taken to a Washington, D.C., hospital after complaining to Justice Department staff of shortness of breath.

At the start of 2013, the president underwent a fitness test that lasted about two hours at a Pentagon health clinic, but results of that assessment were unclear. The White House at the time said a report would be made public in February 2013. A search of available public records and requests to the White House Press Office have not clarified those results.

The White House did not provide information, despite repeated RCP requests this month, about the results of Obama’s exam at the “Fit to Win Clinic,” or his expectations to complete another in a series of customary medical evaluations all Oval Office occupants require.

Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman, the former White House physician, departed in July to work for a Florida hospital after directing the medical unit that serves the president. Kuhlman did not respond to a request for information last year. Navy physician Capt. Ronny Jackson took over as director of the White House Medical Office following Kuhlman’s departure.

Obama in December enrolled for coverage in the Washington, D.C., health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, but customarily receives his medical care from military physicians at the White House and at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

According to public records, the president, 52, completed a medical exam at Walter Reed on Oct. 31, 2011, and a similar evaluation at Walter Reed on Feb. 28, 2010. His Pentagon fitness test took place Jan. 12, 2013.

Obama, a workout and basketball enthusiast and reformed smoker, often jokes about his graying hair and encroaching middle age, but boasts of his good health and the excellent medical care he gets as commander-in-chief.

During a Google+ question-and-answer session Jan. 31, when asked how he was faring personally, Obama said he and his family remain “healthy” and happy.

Alexis Simendinger covers the White House for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at asimendinger@realclearpolitics.com.  Follow her on Twitter @ASimendinger.

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