The proof that physicians have no friends in Congress is at hand. The Senate passed a bill that will extend unemployed benefits to 99 weeks and continue the home buyers tax credit. The tax credit now will be open to anybody, not just first time home buyers. The income limit for eligibility has also been raised so more people can use it, maybe even allowing some doctors to take advantage of it.
It didn't seem to matter that the original tax credit has already cost the government $10 billion in tax revenue during a time of trillion dollar deficits. This new tax credit is calculated to cost $11 billion. It also didn't make any difference that there is rampant abuse of the original home buyers tax credit. Many people who are ineligible have applied, and received, the money. Some people have used their children's name, some as young as four, to claim a first home. Others have used it to buy investment property. One tax preparer in Jacksonville, Florida has been sentenced to prison for helping his ineligible clients get the credit then pocketing $1000 for himself each time. The IRS is investigating over 100,000 cases of possible violations of the tax credit rules. Into all this the Senate has deemed an urgent need to throw in another $11 billion. Maybe it's because Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Majority Leader of the Senate, comes from the state with the most use of the credit on a per capita basis.
With all this money being thrown at a "systemic risk" Congress couldn't find in their multitrillion dollar budget the money to prevent a 21% cut in Medicare reimbursement next year. Again doctors are playing by other people's rules. While lawyers, insurance companies, homebuilders, car dealers, etc are throwing millions of dollars into lobbying Congress, doctors just sit back and pray that Congress will see their plight, or the plight of the elderly, and dribble some money our way.