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Doctors for Obama: Partisans in Lab Coats

John on October 6, 2009 at 9:20 am

Yesterday the White House hosted a bevy of white-coated doctors as a show of support for ObamaCare. The idea was to have one from every state to show how representative they were of doctors across the country.

Obama Doctors

Over at Hot Air, Ed notes that the lab coats were handed out to those who’d forgotten theirs. But that’s really just scratching the surface. This group is far from representative.

I’ve been following Doctors for America since the election. Back then they were called Doctors for Obama. It appears they got started as part of a smear on John McCain. Maybe you remember this bit of fear mongering courtesy of Brave New Films?

YouTube Preview Image

That commercial actually ran on MSNBC (of course) for two days prior to the first debate. They then pulled it and claimed they hadn’t vetted it properly.

It appears from reading the description posted along with this longer, related clip that Doctors for Obama was created (or at least greatly expanded) by Brave New Films as part of their election smear effort called The Real McCain. Here’s what the video sidebar says:

We have enlisted a group of doctors from around the country to lead the effort to make sure the public is able to see and make judgments for themselves. Secrecy is not of service to our democracy, transparency is. Please have other doctors sign the open letter.

Cancer is a serious issue. That’s why 30 medical doctors have already signed our open letter telling McCain to issue a full, public disclosure of all his medical records. Send this video far and wide to request that McCain release his full health records.

If you actually go to the Real McCain website where this open letter and the video were hosted, you’ll see that they eventually had 2,908 doctors sign it. They also produced a full page ad in the NY Times with a list of 2,768 doctors demanding McCain release his records. Click for the full ad in pdf.dfa nyt ad

So far as I can tell, the group of signatories to this McCain cancer smear either became or joined Doctors for Obama. Certainly the people in the video were key players in the group.

One of the doctors who appears prominently in the video, Michael Fratkin, also wrote this letter demanding the release of McCain’s records at the same time this video came out. As you can see, the letter is written by Fratkin on behalf of Doctors for Obama. Apparently he was the leader or spokesperson at this early point.

After the election these partisans in lab coats changed their name to position themselves for the health care debate to come. Now they are just Doctors for America. However, as the NY Times notes, DFA head Alice Chen (who has been to the White House to lobby for reform prior to yesterday) is working closely with Organizing for America and posted this note on the OFA website yesterday.

Finally, I can’t help but note that one of the “Senior Advisers” of DFA is none other than Jacob Hacker, architect of the public option and of much of Obama’s plan. DFA is not an independent group of doctors. They are highly partisan and well connected to the White House.

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