Bill O’Reilly’s (Totally Bogus) Healthcare Stunner!

Last night on the O’Reilly Factor (3/16/10):

What I’m about to tell you is simply stunning.

A new survey published by the New England Journal of Medicine, a prestigious magazine, says that nearly half of primary care doctors in America could leave the medical profession if Obamacare is passed.

According to the Journal, 63 percent of physicians feel that healthcare reform is needed but should be done in a more gradual way. And an astounding 72 percent of doctors believe a public option, that is a government-run health insurance company, would have a negative impact on medical care in the USA.

Doctors hate the White House health plan–now that IS a story. And it’s published in a reputable scientific journal!

Or not.

Anyone trying to find the research will likely see it first at a right-wing blog like Hot Air— which linked to a New England Journal of Medicine “CareerCenter” website article that was actually the employment newsletter Recruiting Physicians Today. That this was not the journal itself would have been obvious to anyone reading the site.

The survey was done bytheMedicus Firm,a “nationally retained physician search firm.” The main point of their poll is that health reform will create some kind of uncertainty, whichmeans the “strongest physician recruiters and firms will be in demand”– i.e., themselves.

After Media Matters investigated the matter, the New England Journal of Medicine posted an explanation on their site, explaining that the advertiser newsletter is not the journal, and they had nothing to do with the survey (which, it turns out, appears to have been an email survey of doctors in the firm’s database).

After leading his show with a bogus tale, surely Bill O’Reilly will correct the record tonight. Right?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.