The latest right-wing disinformation campaign, all over the far-right media
is that 70 percent of California's doctors are boycotting Obamacare. Is it true? Of course not. Is anything the Washington Examiner
, WND, or Breitart publishes true?
The LA Times's Michael Hiltzik has the full debunking. By doing real reporting, Hiltzik found out that as far as anyone is keeping track, more than 80 percent of the state's practicing physicians participate in the health plans on the exchange, and will be available to enrollees.
The "boycott" claim originated with Richard Pollock, a reporter at the conservative Washington Examiner, whose piece doesn't appear to reflect how the California exchange actually works.
"That article was wrong," says Molly Weedn, spokeswoman for the CMA. "We have no idea how many doctors are participating. We don't collect that data."
In fact, Pollock's sourcing for the data in his original article, which appeared Dec. 6, is highly questionable, if not flat-out worthless. Pollock revised his story on Tuesday after he got called on it by the CMA. He now says there's no organized boycott. But he's still seems to have the story wrong.
Pollock talked to "a half-dozen" insurance brokers and agents in the state, he says. But there's no way individual insurance agencies can have an idea of what's happening across the state, particularly a state as large as California. Pollock also talked to the president of the California Medical Association, Dr. Richard Thorp, who's own organization doesn't keep track of this kind of information, as the spokeswoman said above. When Pollock suggested the 70 percent figure to Thorp, he answered that "it wouldn't surprise" him. That was the extent of Pollock's confirmation of the boycott, a wild hunch from one individual who had no access to necessary information.
Pollock walked back part of the story, saying that instead of an organized boycott, this is a spontaneous one. But, as Hiltzik says:
What he should say isn't that "California's budding doctor rebellion" is "spontaneous," but that it's spurious. It exists in the mind of the Washington Examiner and has spread, like an epidemic, to a bunch of other susceptible patients in the news world. It should never have started, and it's high time it was eradicated.