President Obama is trying desperately to sell his healthcare program to the nation. He tried the white coat treatment in 2009 by staging a photo op at the White House Rose Garden with 150 doctors in tow from the 50 states. How would the people know that these men and women were doctors? “Doctors attending the event were instructed to show up in white lab coats to give observers the feeling that doctors stand behind the President’s health care plans.” But some did not show up with their white lab coats. They came dressed like stock brokers. No problem. Obama’s people were prepared with an assortment of white coats of their own. A medicinal sea of white served as a backdrop for the president’s propaganda push.
A similar show of medical support once again was on display with a cadre of doctors in white coats behind him.
The white-coated doctors reminded me of how Nathan’s hot dogs gained respectability. Nathan Handwerker sold hot dogs for five cents, half the price of those being sold by Charles Felton at his famous restaurant on Coney Island. Handwerker got his start in the business as a roll cutter, but then went out on his own by developing his own hot dog recipe with a hint of garlic. Very good. Hot dogs had bad reputations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. No one really knew what went into a hot dog. People were suspicious of a hot dog that was less expensive than what was being sold by Felton’s establishment. People would pass by Nathan’s stand for the more expensive Felton dog. Handwerker first tried hiring bums to gather as a crowd around his stand and paid them in hot dogs in order to give the impression he was busy. This only made the passersby even more reluctant to try a Nathan hot dog. Seeing the problem, Nathan had the bums shave themselves and wear doctor’s outfits. A new sign above the establishment proclaimed, “If doctors eat our hot dogs, you know they’re good!”
Can we make the logical leap that if Obama’s doctors support his healthcare program that it will be good for the rest of us? I want to know something about these doctors. Do they own their own medical practices? How well do they do? Is Obamacare a way to level the economic playing field for them by eliminating competition? Like the hot dogs of old, we don’t really know what’s being sold to us. Putting white lab coats on doctors who were hand-picked by the guy selling us the sausage does not make me want to take a bite.