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Estimation Quiz

This is not quite a poll in that there is a “correct answer”. Hint: it’s not even close.

Which number is larger?

  • The number of physicians in the US who favor a public healthcare option. (78%, 154 Votes)
  • The number of dollars spent by Barack Obama to keep his vital records sealed. (12%, 23 Votes)
  • The number of people who showed up for the September 12, 2009 “Tea Party” in Washington, DC. (10%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 197

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13 Responses to Estimation Quiz

  1. avatar
    Epectitus September 16, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    In 1993 I was a representative for Baxter Healthcare (yes Orly, THAT Baxter) in a consortium of health care providers, suppliers and insurers that developed a proposal for overhauling the US health care system, including some of the biggest names in the industry. The Clinton commission would not even consider it, because it was “not invented there.”

    It was a single payer system, but designed so that all medical decisions were made NOT by insurance company bureaucrat and NOT by government employees but by Primary Care Physicians. They also controlled the flow of dollars to specialists, and determined when to bring them in. Costs were capitated, and medical care repositioned to emphasize prevention rather than treatment. I still think it was brilliant, and I am frustrated by Obama’s timidity regarding something similar.

    Rest assured, without a massive systemic overhaul, NOBODY’s insurance will be worth squat in 15 years.

    Single payer is arguably our only option.

  2. avatar
    misha September 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Thank you.

  3. avatar
    Hiram September 17, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    IBD Editorials just posted the results of a poll revealing that 45% of doctors would consider quitting should Congress pass “Health Care Overhaul”.

    “Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.”

    Before criticizing the results, READ the report at: http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=337909690110379. There were a number of questions with even more remarkable numbers than the 45% just quoted. Note that the poll was conducted with well over 1000 practicing physicians chosen randomly throughout the country. It is by far the most legitimate poll taken thus far of physicians on this important matter.

    Note, too, that the AMA, whose support the administration touts, represents ONLY about 18% of physicians.

    Facts are stubborn things…

  4. avatar
    Ragout September 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    There are about 700,000 doctors in the US, and about 70% support a public option, according to the NEJM. So about 500,000 doctors support a public option.

    Does Dr. Conspiracy expect us to believe that Obama has spent so much less than $500,00 on Birther litigation that “it’s not even close?” I’ll believe that when I see a citation.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    A poll of 2500 physicians, 70% favored a public option or a single payor public plan.

    “We lie” should be the motto of the opponents of heart reform.”

  6. avatar
    Bob September 17, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    Does Dr. Conspiracy expect us to believe that Obama has spent so much less than $500,00[0] on Birther litigation that “it’s not even close?” I’ll believe that when I see a citation.

    Where’s the citation on how much Obama spent on birfer litigation?

  7. avatar
    Bob September 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    It is by far the most legitimate poll taken thus far of physicians on this important matter.

    Sure, if statistical methodology is unimportant to you. Mail in responses? Please.

    IBD has an obvious axe to grind about health care.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    The question doesn’t say “birther litigation” but prior to election, I think 100,000 is too large (some services were pro bono). Now with US attorneys actually appearing in court, costs to the government may be getting large.

    You must remember that Obama did nothing in the vast majority of the cases and all the rest have been dismissed upon filing of a motion.

  9. avatar
    Nullifidian September 18, 2009 at 12:23 am #

    I think I’ll trust the results of a poll published by the New England Journal of Medicine before I trust a poll from Investors Business Daily. IBD already destroyed its own credibility by claiming that “the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man [Stephen Hawking], because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.” The NHS got started in 1948, pursuant to legislation passed in 1946. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS when he was 21, in 1963 and in Britain. You do the math.

  10. avatar
    Andrew A. Gill September 18, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    Sadly, we’re probably not going to get single payer anytime soon.

    With a little luck, we’ll get a public option, and maybe that will put enough pressure on the insurance companies that we’ll be able to get single payer next time round.

  11. avatar
    Greg September 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Dewey Defeats Truman?

    Mail in polls are notoriously biased, in that they rely on the person polled to be passionate enough about an issue to fill out the poll, go to the mailbox and send it in. You’ll notice they sent the poll to 1,300 doctors, but nowhere do they state what percentage of doctors replied. The MMS survey the article cites only got a 14% response rate for the 7100 polls they sent out to practicing physicians. Even if a random sample sent the polls back, the IBD poll would have around an 8.25% margin of error.

    538 takes on some obvious issues with the poll. Clearly biased questions, the terrible record of IBD/TIPP (McCain won the youth 74-26%?), responses are still coming in? Yeah, in short, it’s a crap poll.

    The article, if anything, is worse. They cite the Mass Medical Society’s report that physician shortages continue in the state, but since the article wants to blame it on the passage of health reform in 2006, they leave out the fact that the shortages are continuing for the fourth straight year. And if you look at the reasons the study cites for the shortages, none of them have to do with the health reform. At least one of them would be eliminated if we went to a single payer system or at least to a system with strong federal intervention:

    Dissatisfaction with administrative hassles Forty-four percent (44%) of physicians say they are dissatisfied with the number of hours spent on patient care versus administrative tasks. The figure rises substantially for the primary care specialties of family medicine (59%) and internal medicine (56%), and for orthopedic surgeons (56%).

    Talk to any physician about dealing with health insurers. In fact, go to any doctor and say, “Tell me how much time you spent on the phone last week with health insurance companies? How about last month?” And you’ll see their eyes start to glow. Except for being sued, I can’t think of a single thing doctors hate more than dealing with health insurance companies. Since being sued happens to such a small percentage of doctors, I can’t think of anything more universally hated by physicians (except maybe pharmaceutical sales people).

    And they have to deal with dozens of different insurance companies, each with their own special forms, rules, compensation plans, formularies, etc.

    Also, the experience of Massachusetts cannot be generalized to the rest of the nation because of the unique situation of health care providers in Boston. I don’t think there’s a place on the planet with more doctors per person than Boston. It has created a very strange medical marketplace. Most professionals, lawyers, for example, make more in Boston than in smaller cities. Physicians in front line specialties, by contrast, generally make less. Places like Mass. General Hospital (Harvard) pay their doctors with prestige more than money.

    So, you have a city with a very high cost of living, driven up by the lawyers and fund managers, with professionals who are paid less than in the rest of the country. And if they can’t get into one of the prestige hospital systems, or don’t want to be paid in prestige, and they want to actually live in a house, not a condo, they move out of state.

  12. avatar
    Greg September 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    Hey, Doc. I think my posts are getting eaten by the spam filter. Can you check?

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 18, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    The spam filter ate all your stuff (now freed). The filter consists of my own keywords and IP addresses, but mostly of an external service. My best guess is that your IP address is similar to that of a known spamming network. You certainly don’t fit my keywords (mostly about drugs and internet casinos).

    My understanding is that by approving your comments for display, a correcting transaction is passed to the spam checking organization.