North Carolina Medical Society pushes bogus poll

The NCMS, in its most recent bulletin, leads with a poll by Investors Business Daily claiming that “65% of physicians surveyed oppose the proposed government health care system reform plan.”

Investors Business Daily, you may recall, is the same publication that ran a now-famous editorial about England’s National Health Service claiming:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

IBD corrected its claim when it was noted that Hawking was born in Oxford and teaches at the University of Cambridge. Hawking told the Guardian newspaper that he wouldn’t be here today without the “large amount of high-quality treatment” he received from the National Health Service.

It seems the IBD poll has the same credibility as the publication’s editorial board.

Polling guru Nate Silver has a more detailed critique of IBD’s methodology but he concludes:

My advice would be to completely ignore this poll. There are pollsters out there that have an agenda but are highly competent, and there are pollsters that are nonpartisan but not particularly skilled. Rarely, however, do you find the whole package: that special pollster which is both biased and inept. IBD/TIPP is one of the few exceptions.

The NCMS gives equal weight to a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found nearly 75 percent of physicians surveyed support a public option in health reform.

Unfortunately, the NCMS is not contributing to a constructive debate when it offers the junk polls alongside the reputable surveys without giving any context.


  1. IBXer

    September 22, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Adam, you are bashing the IBD as being bogus then you promote your own bogus poll.

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll found that 75% of doctors support more options for patients. That does not mean a government option it just means more options, you know, like letting people buy across state lines.

    The same poll found that only 11% of doctors support a government take over of health insurance, which is what the left wants.

    You are taking a poll that shows the exact opposite of what you believe in and pretending like it supports your claims.

  2. IBXer

    September 22, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Also, let’s say the 65% is way off and that the number is actually a fourth of that… 16% of doctors would retire early or leave the field.

    That will still create a massive shortage of doctors.

    How many doctors leaving because of government intervention would be acceptable to you? 10%, 8%, 5%?

    People have jobs to make money. If the government takes over the healthcare system with the intent to cut costs, that means putting people out of work or lowering the quality of care.

  3. Republicans 4 Single Payer

    September 22, 2009 at 9:42 am

    wonder if their are any NC docs who are affiliated with Republicans For Single Payer?

  4. AdamL

    September 22, 2009 at 10:03 am

    You’re not arguing that the RWJ poll is bogus, you’re arguing with the interpretation. The IBD poll is just bogus.

  5. Jack

    September 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    What opponents to an American Health Care system are afraid of is that the American people will have an alternative and the insurance company’s “survival of the fittest system” of coverage. If you want to say that the American medial system is the best in the world, perhaps from a technological point of view, but from a preventive medicine perspective the medical system here falls short in caring for the safety and well being of the American people. I know, we can’t legislate what people do. That’s and old chestnut so lets not even go there. What we can do is create a health care system that will model and support healthy life style choices.

  6. IBXer

    September 23, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Adam, I am arguing that how you guys are using that poll is bogus. It actually says the exact opposite of what you want it to say but you are spinning it to make it sound like it supports you. That is bogus.

    Republicans For Single Payer is a bogus site. I could register as a Democrat and make a site called “Democrats for Euthanasia and Forced Sterilization”… Just because someone claims to be a Republican doesn’t mean all Republicans should give merit to anything he or she says.

    Jack, it’s all about controlling people. Nothing more, nothing less.

  7. AdamL

    September 23, 2009 at 10:24 am

    To recap, the IBD poll is bogus. The RWJ poll is not bogus. IBXer is better at interpreting polls than anyone else who has read the RWJ poll.

  8. Peter

    September 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll found that 75% of doctors support more options for patients. That does not mean a government option it just means more options, you know, like letting people buy across state lines.

    Not quite:

    Question Text. The Mount Sinai report [of the RWJ poll] includes the verbatim text of how they described the three proposals that they asked physicians to evaluate:

    1. Public and Private Options: Provide people under 65 the choice of enrolling in a new public health insurance plan (like Medicare) or in private plans.

    2. Private Options Only: Provide people with tax credits or low-income subsidies to buy private insurance coverage (without creating a public plan option).

    3. Public Option Only: Eliminate private insurance and cover everyone in a single public plan like Medicare.

    When asked to choose “which proposal you most strongly support,” 63 percent chose the combination of public and private plans, 27 percent chose the private options only and 10 percent chose the public option only.


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