More flawed AMA reporting

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Here's how Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly describes the AMA:

The AMA, with about 250,000 members, is the nation's largest physician group.

Connolly doesn't give readers any context for that number. She doesn't tell readers that 250,000 is less than a third of the 800,000 or so practicing doctors in America. Or that the AMA membership figures include medical students and retired doctors, who account for about half of AMA's members. Connolly doesn't tell readers that the AMA gets at least 20 percent of its budget from drug companies. Nor does she tell readers the AMA has long opposed meaningful health care reform, and even opposed the creation of Medicare.

Instead of giving readers useful context about the AMA, Connolly quoted a doctor taking a political shot at President Obama:

But immediate reaction to Obama's speech Monday illustrated that it will not be easy to neutralize some of the powerful forces that helped defeat previous attempts at health-care reform.

"He's a wonderful speaker, and he told us what we want to hear," said Norman Dunitz, a Tulsa hip and knee surgeon. "The question isn't what he said but what he's going to do. He has a reputation of shifting sides."

Look at that quote closely: Connelly doesn't quote Dunitz saying anything about health care. It's just a political attack on Barack Obama. Norman Dunitz, by the way, has made campaign contributions to far-right Republican Senators Jim Inhofe, Tom Coburn, and John Barrasso, which may explain why he attacked Obama personally instead of saying anything meaningful about health care.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
The Washington Post
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