Sunday, September 20, 2009

"45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul"

When the Obama administration put it out there that most doctors supported their health care plan, I thought there is simply no way that is true.

Turns out, it isn't.

Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.

The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also doctors' own lobby — the powerful American Medical Association — both of which suggest the medical profession is behind the proposed overhaul.

It also calls into question whether an overhaul is even doable; 72% of the doctors polled disagree with the administration's claim that the government can cover 47 million more people with better-quality care at lower cost.

Can you imagine if even 10 or 20% quit while at the same time insuring another supposedly 30-47 million? It would be a unmitigated disaster.

Which is what this health care bill is anyway.

I think it's important to look at how two different studies could say such opposing things. The survey touted by the White House and every leftwing and media outlet out there was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was conducted by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a pro-Obamacare organization, so it really is like the Health insurance industry conducting a poll.

But probably the most important thing to know about the Robert Wood Johnson foundation poll is that it collected data from 2,130 physicians from the American Medical Association’s Masterfile.*While the AMA masterfile does include data on all doctors, not those just those in the AMA, in recent years there has been angry controversy regarding the AMA disclosing information in its Masterfile to pharmaceutical companies, enraging doctors who are not members of the AMA, who feel the AMA has abused their rights to privacy by selling data about doctors without their consent for commercial and marketing purposes. In other words, even though there is no way to determine whether only doctors who are a members of the AMA were polled, it would seem obvious that those who are not members would not want to be included in the AMA polling. The AMA only represents 18% of doctors nationwide. The AMA also has come out for Obamacare. This is hardly a true sampling of doctors. In addition, only 43% of those doctors in the AMA masterfile responded to the survey. And even given all that, in this survey doctors who own their own practices were less likely than non-owners to support a public plan (58% versus 67%). It's also important to note that the biggest majority of support came from those practicing in the Northeast (70%).

So we are supposed to believe that out of a survey of 18% of doctors, where less than half of those responded represent the majority of doctors?

I think you can see why a survey done of a random selection of doctors across the country better represents how doctors really feel.

*Corrected statement about the AMA masterfiles