Aides suggest lab coats to give Clinton suitable background THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN ON HEALTH CARE


WASHINGTON -- White House officials have suggested a dress code -- lab coats -- for at least some of the 1,000 people attending President Clinton's visit at noon today to the Johns Hopkins University.

Sensitive to some physicians' criticism of his health care reform plan, Clinton aides want him to look like he's talking about his plan to a sympathetic audience of medical professionals -- hence the lab coats that they often wear on the job.

A White House official said Clinton aides did ask that Hopkins medical students wearing lab coats stand behind the president when he speaks (and therefore be part of all the news photographs and TV film). But the official denied reports that others in the audience are being encouraged to wear lab coats, too.

Mr. Clinton's audience will consist mainly of doctors, researchers and staff at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, School of Public Health, School of Medicine and School of Nursing. They are to be bused to the Homewood campus because it has the facilities for a large crowd.

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