GOP Whip Cantor’s office pushes phony ‘New England Journal of Medicine Report’

From yesterday’s Twitter feed of Brad Dayspring, spokesman for the GOP whip’s office:

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Dayspring doesn’t mis-attribute the study to the New England Journal of Medicine, but I think Peter Lipson at Forbes does a good job unspooling the unscientific Medicus poll that’s at issue here.

When asked, “How do you think the passage of health reform WITHOUT a public option would affect your professional/practice plans, if at all?” 70% of respondents said, “no change.” It is not reported in this data, but apparently primary care physicians, who made up about a third of respondents, were more likely to say that they would leave medical practice.

I have no doubt that there are unsatisfied physicians out there. This data, gathered unscientifically, hyped by the survey company, and widely picked up by partisan media, is not a reliable measure of doctors’ responses to health care reform.

If the bill passes, I wonder if this sort of hyperbole will be remembered the way Republican claims that Bill Clinton’s 1993 budget would bring about a massive recession are remembered.

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David Weigel

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