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Letter: Don't fall for doctor survey

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This letter is in response to a July 18 Public Forum letter written by Nancy Snyder and entitled "Obamacare must be repealed."

Although I take issue with nearly everything in the letter, due to Tribune limitations of 350 words, I am responding to only to one statement at this time. Snyder states "a recent survey by the nonpartisan Doctor Patient Medical Association shows that 83 percent of doctors are considering quitting because of Obamacare."

The stated survey findings are not true. The founder of DPMA states on their website the following: "To set the record straight, it's important to point out -- our survey results indicated 83 percent of doctors are considering quitting because of the current direction of medicine -- not specifically the health care reform law of 2010. The health care system was broken long before Nancy Pelosi and the 2010 Congress passed the bill. Both Republicans and Democrats over the years need to claim responsibility for the situation we sit in today."

Survey experts have expressed concerns about the study's design. PolitiFact.com states that survey experts are concerned with two aspects of the study.

Response categories were poorly worded. One expert called them "odd". The choices for answering the question were:

n "Makes me think about quitting";

n "I'm re-energized"; and

n "Unsure/no opinion."

Because the response rate was only 4.3 percent, it's hard to gauge how representative the survey was.

After the Supreme Court upheld the health reform act, American Medical Association president Jeremy Lazarus issued a statement praising the decision, saying that the AMA "has long supported health insurance coverage for all, and we are pleased that this decision means millions of Americans can look forward to the coverage they need to get healthy and stay healthy," He went on to say that the AMA will work to ensure that the law continues to be implemented.

I don't think he would have made those statements if 83 percent of his members were thinking about quitting because of the law. Do you?

John M. Behr

Willmar

This letter is in response to a July 18 Public Forum letter written by Nancy Snyder and entitled "Obamacare must be repealed."

Although I take issue with nearly everything in the letter, due to Tribune limitations of 350 words, I am responding to only to one statement at this time. Snyder states "a recent survey by the nonpartisan Doctor Patient Medical Association shows that 83 percent of doctors are considering quitting because of Obamacare."

The stated survey findings are not true. The founder of DPMA states on their website the following: "To set the record straight, it's important to point out -- our survey results indicated 83 percent of doctors are considering quitting because of the current direction of medicine -- not specifically the health care reform law of 2010. The health care system was broken long before Nancy Pelosi and the 2010 Congress passed the bill. Both Republicans and Democrats over the years need to claim responsibility for the situation we sit in today."

Survey experts have expressed concerns about the study's design. PolitiFact.com states that survey experts are concerned with two aspects of the study.

Response categories were poorly worded. One expert called them "odd". The choices for answering the question were:

- "Makes me think about quitting";

- "I'm re-energized"; and

- "Unsure/no opinion."

Because the response rate was only 4.3 percent, it's hard to gauge how representative the survey was.

After the Supreme Court upheld the health reform act, American Medical Association president Jeremy Lazarus issued a statement praising the decision, saying that the AMA "has long supported health insurance coverage for all, and we are pleased that this decision means millions of Americans can look forward to the coverage they need to get healthy and stay healthy," He went on to say that the AMA will work to ensure that the law continues to be implemented.

I don't think he would have made those statements if 83 percent of his members were thinking about quitting because of the law. Do you?

John M. Behr

Willmar

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