Physicians

As I Was Saying…

As can be read in my response to Jane’s touting the wonderful results of the non-study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine recently (and well noted by the much maligned on THCB, but usually correct Greg Scandlen), the media will attempt to skew reporting in favor of nationalized, government-run, bureaucrat-controlled, special interest-driven, health care.

To wit, the April 09,2008, release from Rasmussen : headline: 29% Favor National Health Insurance Overseen by Federal Government.

Guess how many opposed? 39%

Should the headline have been 39% Opposed to National Health Insurance?

Let’s look at the ‘topline’ data : The most interesting: 46% believe quality would DECREASE under a national health insurance system. Should that have been the headline instead? A quick note on literature, for those who have read my comment to Jane here A difference here is that Rasmussen does not purport to be scientific literature— it is clearly a poll… and though they interview 1000 adults, they could be wrong (though the 15% uninsured reflects national average- just one of many possible factors, so it does not make this poll ‘correct’).” Have we clearly ‘crossed the tipping point’ against a nationalized, government-run, bureaucrat-controlled, special interest- driven, health care system, Jane?

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6 replies »

  1. Eric, you could say every poll may not represent the opinion of all people the poll was meant to cover. How could they? That’s why every poll, including this one, gives a margin of error. Obviously the poll did not your represent attitude or your agenda. Get your own poll.

  2. Peter— just your conclusion is my problem— thank you for the links, by the way…
    The stated limitations are the key:”It is uncertain whether the attitudes of the doctors who responded to the survey accurately represent the attitudes of all doctors in the United States.”
    A better answer from those who conducted the survey: “It is uncertain whether the attitudes of the doctors who responded to the survey accurately represent the attitudes of all doctors WHO WERE SENT THE SURVEY. SINCE WE DO NOT KNOW THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THOSE WHO CHOSE NOT TO RESPOND, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DRAW ANY CONCLUSION AS TO WHETHER THE RESULTS OF THE RESPONDERS REFLECT IN ANY WAY all doctors in the United States.”
    But, again— thank you for the link and bringing the details here to the THCB community— everyone should read the survey.

  3. Eric, since you haven’t replied I thought I would post part of the 2003 survy summary. The 2008 update did not have a summary and was too big to post. but can be accessed. I can’t see anything that doesn’t give this survy some relevance.
    “Who was studied?
    1650 U.S. doctors who responded to a mailed survey.
    How was the study done?
    Using a database recognized as the most complete list of licensed doctors in the United States, the researchers randomly selected 2500 doctors for a mailed survey. Because they were particularly interested in the attitudes of surgeons and younger doctors, they also selected an additional 375 doctors from the group that identified their specialty as surgery and an additional 375 who graduated from medical school after 1990. They mailed the doctors a short survey that included the following questions: 1) In principle, do you support or oppose governmental legislation to establish national health insurance? 2) Do you support or oppose a national health insurance plan where all health care is paid for by the federal government? The researchers examined the overall support among surveyed doctors and looked for specific factors that were associated with support of national health insurance.
    What did the researchers find?
    Of the 3188 doctors surveyed, 1650 responded. About half of the doctors (49%) supported governmental legislation to establish national health insurance, and 40% opposed it. A little over one quarter of doctors (26%) supported a program in which the federal government would pay for all health care. Doctors were most likely to support national health insurance if they practiced in inner cities or nonprivate settings and if at least 20% of their patients were on Medicaid. The types of doctors with the highest support for national health insurance were internal medicine doctors, pediatricians, and psychiatrists. Support was lowest among family medicine doctors, anesthesiologists, and specialty surgeons.
    What were the limitations of the study?
    It is uncertain whether the attitudes of the doctors who responded to the survey accurately represent the attitudes of all doctors in the United States. The survey examined whether doctors support the principle of national health insurance but did not gather information on doctors’ opinions about the details of such a program.”
    The survey was random. I think 49% of U.S. doctors in 2003 supporting some form of national healthcare is substantial. I guess though that you may think no poll has meaning unless 100% are polled and 100% reply? I’ve never seen a survey done like that.

  4. Eric, I think I found the study. You can link to it and see if it meets your criteria for a study/poll.
    http://www.annals.org/cgi/search?fulltext=national+health+insurance&sendit.x=9&sendit.y=5
    Here is the summary of the 2003 original – I think. Jane will have to comment. It explains how the survey was conducted. There is also the 5 year update.
    http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/summary/139/10/795?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=national+health+insurance&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

  5. “The most interesting: 46% believe quality would DECREASE under a national health insurance system.”
    No, I think it more interesting that 36% think government run healthcare quality would do no worse than private sector run. It almost a dead heat. The 18% not sures would need direct experience it seems.
    The problem with the question is no one defines “quality”. Would quality mean unlimited access or better efficiency or less mistakes or better diagnosis or all of the above?
    As to the 85% questioned that had health insurance coverage they didn’t say how many buy their own, get it at work or get it from the government.
    Eric, I thought we had a “special interest-driven” healthcare system now.

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