NOTE: This post is the second of 3 posts in a series – if you haven’t read the first, it might be helpful for background. – GM Online Physicians and Health Reform – By the Numbers by Greg Matthews, May 8, 2017

By now you know that America’s physicians came out in (online) droves in response to last week’s passage of House of Representatives Bill 2192 (HB2192) – more commonly known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA) or Trumpcare. We’re working our way up to a deeper dive on the sentiment toward said bill,  but on the way there, we have some really interesting ground to cover.

First, we know that doctors showed up in large numbers (nearly 2,500 individual US physicians, posting over 15,000 times), and engaged an enormous variety of health ecosystem stakeholders in conversation (see our Network Mention Map; first published in Monday’s post). But just who were these doctors?

As it turns out, physicians of different specialties responded very differently. For some, it was the primary focus of their weekly posts … while for others, it barely hit their radar screens.

As you can see, HPM docs, pediatricians and infectious disease docs led the way (each had more than 40% of their authors posting about health reform). It’s not too hard to imagine why, either … They’re caring for the sickest, poorest and most vulnerable part of our population. It’s clear that they are deeply concerned about those patients’ ability maintain enough coverage to pay for the care they need.

On the other end of the spectrum, the same specialties who are known for their high post volume but low engagement were really not responding to the new legislation – Plastic Surgery, (Cosmetic) Dermatology, etc.

To examine a PDF showing all specialties, click here: AHCA MDs – Specialties Most Active in Health Reform Conversation

But what were they posting about? There are a few things that can give us high-level clues.

HASHTAGS: Unsurprisingly, #AHCA and #ACA were the most-used tags (#AHCA was used 3,826 times by 1,316 unique physicians). #TrumpCare was 3rd, which could be a little ambiguous. On one hand, it’s named for the President; on the other hand, it tends to be used derisively (which was more the case this year; most AHCA supporters don’t actually like calling it Trumpcare). What’s interesting is that 6 of the next 9 most-used tags were very anti-AHCA. Here are the top 12 tags, by sentiment:

NEUTRAL tags (rank): AHCA (1); ACA (2); Healthcare (7); Obamacare (9); Medicaid (10); AAFP (12)

AMBIGUOUS tag: Trumpcare (3)

ANTI-AHCA tags: KeepKidsCovered (4); VoteNo (5); VoteNoAHCA (6); ProtectOurCare (8); Docs4Coverage (11)

I was looking for Pro-AHCA tags, and thought I’d found one when I saw that Trump’s signature #MAGA was used several times, but it turns out that in every post it was used derisively.

LINKS: Another way to get a sense of the sentiment of the physician authors is based on what they linked to in their posts. 10,206 of the doctors’ posts included at least 1 link (68% of all posts) and there were 4,912 individual links shared. The most-shared links paint a pretty clear picture of the general sentiment of the audience.

  1. Jimmy Kimmel’s Tweet – Somewhat surprisingly, this was a major rallying point for the anti-AHCA crowd (shared by 147 unique physicians)
  2. The home page of – an anti-AHCA campaign from the American Medical Association (shared by 93 unique physicians)
  3. Congressional exemption from GOP healthcare plan to be addressed separately –, by Olivia Beavers (shared by 80 unique physicians)
  4. Under the GOP’s health plan, sexual assault could be considered a pre-existing condition –, by Marie Solis (shared by 80 unique physicians)
  5. AAP Statement Opposing Revised American Health Care Act – American Academy of Pediatrics, by Fernando Stein, MD (shared by 74 unique physicians)
  6. Consumer Reports tweet linking to their article entitled, “How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy” (shared by 69 unique physicians)
  7. AAFP Deplores House Vote on AHCA Bill Threatens Health Security of Millions, Destabilizes Individual Market –, by John Meigs, Jr., MD (shared by 54 unique physicians)
  8. How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy –, by Allen St. John (shared by 53 unique physicians)
  9. Republicans exempt their own insurance from their latest health care proposal –, by Sarah Kliff (shared by 49 unique physicians)
  10. Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable – Washington Post, by Paul Waldman (shared by 49 unique physicians)

To examine a PDF showing the top 50 URLs most-linked by physicians as they discussed Health Reform last week, click here: AHCA MDs – Most Shared Links – MDigitalLife

It’s also instructive to look at the DOMAINS that physicians consistently shared in their Health Reform posts – many of which published multiple articles throughout the week that were actively shared by the physicians in this conversation.

Most Shared Domains

Our final post in this series will zero in on mapping the specific topics represented by the 5,000+ physicians in this conversation – and how many of them are actually PRO-AHCA versus ANTI-AHCA.

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