[Updated - please scroll down]
They're just greedy and short-sighted.
Say you didn't want to take a pay cut, and you could convince someone else to help you hike your fees, all the while passing on those increased costs to an unsuspecting - and captive - clientele. How, exactly, would that work?
Well, here's one way:
"Democrats and the Obama administration argue that the $245 billion included for doctors -- the approximate 10-year cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don't face big annual pay cuts -- does not have to be counted in the overall cost of the health care bill."
It's beautiful in its simplicity, really: you just pass on the increases, but you don't call them increases. And why would you put the interests of one small group over a much larger one? That's easy: you'd get the coveted endorsement of the AMA. It reminds me of the punchline to an old joke: "we already know what you are, we're just haggling over the price."
In return for salvaging some semblance of decent reimbursement rates, the medical establishment has cast its lot with those whose first goal is to rid itself of those pesky (and expensive!) seasoned citizens. But hey, I'm young, this won't hurt me.
Well, that depends on how you define "hurt:" since they're taking these increased costs "off line," they can tout their solution as "revenue neutral," or (even better!) "cost saving." Of course, these savings come with a price tag themselves: reduced quality of health care for everyone.
And of course, we're all "everyone."
UPDATE: Apparently, some doc's still have a little common sense (not to mention, decency); there seems to be a bit of a revolt in the ranks of the AMA:
"Some doctors charge the bill will lead to inferior patient care as physician offices around the country triple their patient lists and become forced to ration care.
"This is war," Dr. George Watson, a Kansas physician and president-elect of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, told FOXNews.com Thursday. "This is a bureaucratic boondoggle to grab control of health care. Everything that has been proposed in the 1,018 page bill will contribute to the ruination of medicine." [ed: emphasis added]
Couldn't have said it better myself.