President Obama yesterday rolled out the red carpet -- and handed out doctors' white coats as well, just so nobody missed his hard-sell health-care message.
In a heavy-handed attempt at reviving support for health-care reform, the White House orchestrated a massive photo op to buttress its claim that front-line physicians support Obama.
A sea of 150 white-coated doctors, all enthusiastically supportive of the president and representing all 50 states, looked as if they were at a costume party as they posed in the Rose Garden before hearing Obama's pitch for the Democratic overhaul bills moving through Congress.
The physicians, all invited guests, were told to bring their white lab coats to make sure that TV cameras captured the image.
But some docs apparently forgot, failing to meet the White House dress code by showing up in business suits or dresses.
So the White House rustled up white coats for them and handed them to the suited physicians who had taken seats in the sun-splashed lawn area.
All this to provide a visual counter to complaints from other doctors that pending legislation is bad news for the medical profession.
"Nobody has more credibility with the American people on this issue than you do," Obama told his guests.
Is it true that the doctors hold more credibility on the issue?
Patterico's Pontifications found something interesting, via Take Back Medicine:
DOCS AS PROPS
OOPS! President Obama mistakenly invites OPPONENT to stand up for him at White House today
AAPS doctors ask, Is he having trouble finding supporters?
Oct 5, 2009 - WASHINGTON, DC -- One of the doctors who will NOT be standing behind the President today is one of his most vocal opponents. But he would have been there if the White House had its way.
Dr. Eric Novack of Phoenix, AZ, was one of the 50 doctors invited to the White House photo op today. But he turned down the invitation, because he has lead the fight to pass state legislation and constitutional amendments to prohibit individual insurance mandates.
“They had 16 hours to Google me, but I guess no one bothered,” Dr. Novack told Kathryn Serkes, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in a video interview available at www.TakeBackMedicine.com.
Dr. Novack says that it was very tempting to accept the “once-in-a-lifetime” invitation, but in the end, he had to say no. But it also makes him question whether the doctors who will be there today actually support the President, or even understand all of the details of the bills.
“Are these doctors just star-struck, or do they have real knowledge about what they are supporting?” asked Serkes. “It’s looking like another dog-and-pony-show, and doctors should not be used in this shameful manner. First the President vilifies them, now he wants their help.”
And that’s when he’s not just ignoring them. AAPS and other groups held a rally of 1,000 on Captiol Hill on Sept. 10. “Where was the President then?”
“And at the very least, it makes the White House look like it does some very sloppy work,” added Serkes.
So, bottom line is, the photo op was great but how many there actually supports Obamacare?
Had Novack of Phoenix, AZ, shown up, allowed himself to be part of Obama's Doc and Pony show, how many Americans would have thought he too supported Obamacare?
As you can see from the video below, Novack has an opinion on that question.
[Update] Here are some helpful ideas from doctors not invited to the Doc and Pony show.
We aren't among the doctors invited to a Rose Garden event today to "join the President in pushing for health insurance reform this year and [who] have offered their help and support," as a White House press release put it. It's unfortunate only supporters of the president's plans will be there. Mr. Obama has missed an opportunity to learn more about the real issues facing patients and doctors and to formulate a plan that truly puts patients in control with doctors as trusted advisers.
The United States has the best health care in the world today, and thanks to the ever-expanding frontiers of science and medical innovation the brightest days are ahead. It is true that there are Americans who fall through the cracks of our medical system every day—and as a caring nation, we must do what we can to expand access to medical care to those who need it. But this can be accomplished without a costly and inefficient government overhaul of the entire system. One easy reform would be to enable individuals to buy policies offered in any state, not just where they live. This will enhance competition. But more government-run health insurance will only lead to disaster.
Read the rest to see some of the common sense ideas they have on how to better the system we already have, without spending a trillion dollars to create a whole new system that is fashioned after a system that is already failing.