Americans Facing Health Care Loss Turn to Traveling Medicine Shows

Old West medicine shows peddling miracle potions are experiencing a nationwide resurgence. With 24 million Americans poised to lose coverage under a Trump-backed bill that the House votes on today, horse-drawn wagons are rolling down dusty trails and into hundreds of U.S. cities. Desperate crowds of the sick, pregnant and elderly have already begun congregating to purchase the only treatments they can afford: snake oil, healing minerals and Shape-Ups. One such show, featuring a man calling himself Doctor Orange, could be found in a park just blocks from the White House.

“Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Cure it all with Doctor Orange’s ‘Uge, Tremendous, Spectacular Miracle Potion,” barked a small-handed man in a red top hat. “This stuff is big league, let me tell you, folks. It’s great, just great. It prevents heart attacks, fights cancer, cures the blind, sedates women and deports microorganisms. That’s right—when the microorganisms send cells into our bodies, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing E. Coli. They’re bringing salmonella. They’re STDs. And some, I assume, are good bacteria.”

The crowd clamored with excitement. Many who previously relied on Medicaid were now convinced that Doctor Orange’s potion could heal them. However, when some audience members pointed out that his potion had actually been shown to cause influenza, Doctor Orange called the allegations “fake flus.” He then removed the “enemies of the people’s health” out of his pitch before continuing.

Doctor Orange roared, “Aren’t you tired of all these career physicians telling you what’s good for you? The medical establishment is stupid, so stupid. They write the worst prescriptions, so your body never wins anymore. I’m gonna tear up those prescriptions and renegotiate them. Listen, nobody writes better prescriptions than me, okay? Nobody. I wrote The Art of the Heal, and I have a very good brain. Now let’s make your body great again!” As the crowd wildly applauded, Doctor Orange retreated into his carriage to tweet.

Doctor Orange’s assistant, Kellyanne, was then left to spastically defend his promises with claims of “alternative cures.” Before long, two elven creatures, Serf Spicer and Squire Ryan, emerged from the carriage and began scurrying about with flutes. They sang:

"Bring us ye sick and bring us ye poor,
To desperately drop all their coins at our door,
They haven't much longer,
To wallow and monger, 
So pay, then drop dead on the floor!"

After selling bottles of Doctor Orange’s ‘Uge, Tremendous, Spectacular Miracle Potion to nearly all in attendance—1.5 million by his count—the carriage was lifted by a helicopter and returned to the White House so that the snake oil salesman could continue his work.