(Spin) doc­tors for Oba­macare

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

Lights, cam­era, ag­it­prop! The cur­tains opened on yet an­other art­fully staged per­for­mance of Oba­macare The­ater this week. One hun­dred and fifty doc­tors took their places on the plush lawn out­side the West Wing — many act­ing like “Twi­light” groupies with cam­eras in­stead of cred­i­ble med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als. The pres­i­dent ap­proved the scenery: “I am thrilled to have all of you here to­day, and you look very spiffy in your coats.”

White House wardrobe as­sis­tants guar­an­teed the “spiffy.” As the New York Post’s Charles Hurt re­ported, the physi­cians “were told to bring their white lab coats to make sure that TV cam­eras cap­tured the im­age.” Pres­i­dent Obama’s aides hastily handed out cos­tumes to those who came in suits or dresses be­fore the doc-and-pony show be­gan.

But while Hal­loween came early to the Po­tomac, th­ese par­ti­san sin­gle-payer ac­tivists in White House-sup­plied cloth­ing aren’t fool­ing any­one.

Mr. Obama’s spin doc­tors be­long to a group called Doc­tors for Amer­ica (DFA), which re­port­edly sup­plied the white lab coats. The White House event was organized in con­junc­tion with DFA and Or­ga­niz­ing for Amer­ica, Mr. Obama’s cam­paign out­fit.

OFA and DFA are be­hind a mas­sive new Oba­macare ad cam­paign, let­ter-writ­ing cam­paign and doc­tor-re­cruit­ment cam­paign. The sup­pos­edly “grass­roots” non­profit DFA is a spin-off of Doc­tors for Obama, a 2008 cam­paign arm that ag­gres­sively pushed the Democrats’ gov­ern­ment health care takeover. DFA claims to have thou­sands of mem­bers with a “va­ri­ety of back­grounds.” But there’s lit­tle di­ver­sity in their views on so­cial­ized medicine (98 per­cent want a tax­payer-funded pub­lic in­sur­ance op­tion) — or in their po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions.

DFA pres­i­dent and co­founder Dr. Vivek Murthy, an in­ter­nal medicine physi­cian at Brigham and Women’s Hospi­tal and an in­struc­tor at Har­vard Med­i­cal School, served as a mem­ber of Obama’s Health Pol­icy Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and the New Eng­land Steer­ing Com­mit­tee dur­ing the 2008 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

DFA vice pres­i­dent Dr. Alice Chen of Los An­ge­les is an Obama donor and avowed sup­porter of Or­ga­niz­ing for Amer­ica, Obama’s cam­paign shop run by the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee. On Oct. 5, she posted on the OFA web­site with an ap­peal to Demo­cratic ac­tivists for let­ters to the ed­i­tor in sup­port of Mr. Obama’s “health care re­form.”

DFA “se­nior ad­viser” Ja­cob Hacker is an Oba­macare ar­chi­tect who laughed at crit­i­cism of the plan be­ing a Tro­jan horse for sin­gle-payer cov­er­age. “It’s not a Tro­jan horse, right?” he re­torted at a far-left Tides Foun­da­tion con­fer­ence on health care. “It’s just right there! I’m telling you. We’re go­ing to get there.”

And here’s a brief po­lit­i­cal do­na­tion his­tory of other top DFA docs com­piled by Brian Faugh­nan at :

Dr. Her­shey Gar­ner (who stood on stage with Obama at the White House event): more than $10,000 in do­na­tions to Demo­cratic candidates since 2001.

Dr. Win­fred Par­nell: More than $5,700 in do­na­tions to Democrats since 2001.

Dr. Michael New­man: $4,550 in do­na­tions to Democrats since 2001.

Dr. Boyd Shook: $3,500 in do­na­tions to Democrats since 2002.

Dr. Jan Sarnecki: $3,400 in do­na­tions to Democrats since 2004.

Dr. Amanda McKin­ney (who also flanked Obama at the White House event): $2,750 in do­na­tions to Demo­cratic candidates since 2001.

Dr. Tracy Nel­son: $1,500 in do­na­tions to Obama.

Dr. Stan­ton McKenna: $1,000 in do­na­tions to Democrats since 2001.

Dr. Ja­son Sch­nei­der: $600 in do­na­tions to Democrats since 2001.

Dr. Biron Baker: $500 do­nated to Obama last year.

Dr. Nick Per­ence­vich: $500 in do­na­tions to Democrats since 2008.

Dr. Elaine Brad­shaw: $500 in do­na­tions to Obama last year.

Who un­veiled Doc­tors for Amer­ica ear­lier this spring? No, not or­di­nary cit­i­zens out­side the Belt­way. The de­cid­edly un­grass­roots spon­sors of the Doc­tors for Amer­ica launch were Demo­cratic Sen. Max Bau­cus, chair of the Se­nate Fi­nance Com­mit­tee, and the left-wing Cen­ter for Amer­i­can Progress, which is run by lib­eral op­er­a­tive John Podesta and un­der­writ­ten by far-left bil­lion­aire Ge­orge Soros.

CAP is a lead or­ga­ni­za­tion in the Health Care for Amer­ica Now coali­tion, the so-called “grass­roots” lob­by­ing group for Mr. Obama’s health care takeover leg­is­la­tion run out of 1825 K Street in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., with a $40 mil­lion bud­get. CAP is also the par­ent group of Think Progress, the far-left web­site lead­ing the smear cam­paign against fis­cally con­ser­va­tive ac­tivists who protested at con­gres­sional town halls this sum­mer. And sev­eral CAP alumni are now lead­ing the Oba­macare push at the Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices, in­clud­ing spe­cial HHS as­sis­tant Michael Halle and HHS Di­rec­tor Jeanne Lam­brew, a for­mer se­nior fel­low at the Cen­ter for Amer­i­can Progress who worked on health pol­icy in the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion.

CAP/HCAN’s most re­cent ini­tia­tive? Bussing pro­test­ers to the pri­vate homes of health care ex­ec­u­tives two weeks ago to bully them over the pub­lic op­tion — even as many health care ex­ec­u­tives line the pock­ets of Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials and al­lies lob­by­ing on their be­half.

It’s all in keep­ing with the elab­o­rate Kabuki pro­duc­tions that have marked Team Obama’s ef­forts to man­u­fac­ture sup­port for gov­ern­ment-run health care. They’ve been doc­tor­ing it up from Day One.

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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