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Opinion: To cut healthcare costs, pay docs less

Bloomberg, December 14, 2012

As Democrats and Republicans argue about how to spread the pain of health-care spending cuts, one group has been curiously excluded from the discussion: doctors. There's good reason to change that. Everybody likes doctors. That public adulation is one reason why the 2010 health-care law, which imposed immediate and heavy cuts on hospitals, drugmakers and insurers, left doctors relatively untouched. A 1997 law that reduces doctors' Medicare payments is consistently overridden by Congress. And none of the proposals for entitlement reform now circulating around Washington calls for significant sacrifices from physicians. It's worth asking whether doctors, who account for almost one-fifth of health spending, really need the special treatment.