45% of Doctors Will Consider Quitting If Healthcare Is Overhauled?

Ken AshfordHealth CareLeave a Comment

That's what the Investor's Business Daily wants you to believe from their poll.

That really struck me, especially since a more comprehensive non-partisan poll by the New England Journal of Medicine came out showing that "62.9 percent of physicians nationwide support proposals to expand health care coverage that include both public and private insurance options"

I tried to look deeper into this, to find out exactly how IBD had phrased its questions.  Except they're not making that available.  Well, that should be a clue.

Statistician extraordinaire Nate Silver gives some other reason why we should be skeptical of the IBD poll.  Among them:

  • There is virtually no disclosure about methodology. For example, IBD doesn't bother to define the term "practicing physician", which could mean almost anything. Nor do they explain how their randomization procedure worked, provide the entire question battery, or anything like that.
  • At least one of the questions is blatantly biased: "Do you believe the government can cover 47 million more people and it will cost less money and th quality of care will be better?". Holy run-on-sentence, Batman? A pollster who asks a question like this one is not intending to be objective.
  • They say, somewhat ambiguously: "Responses are still coming in." This is also highly unorthodox. Professional pollsters generally do not report results before the survey period is compete.
  • As we learned during the Presidential campaign — when, among other things, they had John McCain winning the youth vote 74-22 — the IBD/TIPP polling operation has literally no idea what they're doing. I mean, literally none. For example, I don't trust IBD/TIPP to have competently selected anything resembling a random panel, which is harder to do than you'd think.

Yeah.  Pretty much as I thought.

Of course, on the face of it, does the conclusion of the poll strike you as plausible?  Will 45% of doctors consider quitting if healthcare is overhauled?

And what praytell will these doctors do for a living?