darts and laurels

Darts and Laurels

That's sick
October 8, 2012

The Daily Caller drew some odd conclusions from a June survey of physicians, when it published a report with the headline: “83 percent of doctors have considered quitting over Obamacare.”

In fact, the survey referenced by Sally Nelson in her article did not mention Obama-care or its official name, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The question posed by the Doctor Patient Medical Association (DPMA), an advocacy group that works to bring doctors and patients together in the interest of preserving medical freedom, read: “How do current changes in the medical system affect your desire to practice medicine?” Eighty-three percent of respondents answered, “I’m thinking about quitting.”

Trisha Marczak of Mint Press News pointed out (based on an interview with DPMA chief Kathryn Serkes) that many of the 699 doctors surveyed are frustrated with the role of insurance companies and other third-party payment systems, not Obamacare. Still, the conclusion to which The Daily Caller so eagerly leapt spread quickly among its ideological brethren. The Examiner published a story with the headline “83% of doctors say they might quit over Obama-care,” and Fox News ran a similar piece. Never let the facts get in the way of a partisan shot.

Hazel Sheffield is a journalist and filmmaker based in London. She is a former CJR fellow and business editor of the Independent.