And since the government already is telling doctors that they will only reimburse them 80% for Medicare patients, many doctors refuse to take Medicare patients. Why take up a slot when you will only get paid 80% when you can have a patient in that time slot you can make 100% from.
If the U.S. goes to a completee Medicare program, doctors will only get reimbursed 80% for all patients.
According to the New York Times article, "Doctors’ Group Opposes Public Insurance Plan," the AMA has little bargaining power, as they are trying hard to work with Democrats at getting that 80% increased to 100%. So, if they oppose democrats to much, key democratic leaders may cut their support of the AMA.
Plus, if the AMA irritates democrats too much, they might lower their reimbursement to 70% or even 60% or less.
The claim that Obama's plan would be an extension of Medicare is valid, because you have to consider the majority of people who use healthcare services are the elderly, and 20% of the people in the U.S. pay 80% of the Healthcare costs.
Democrats may be riding the wave of public optimism regarding nationalized healthcare, and Obama's popularity (currently at 60%). Yet, they may also be taking advantage of the fact members of the AMA may have their hands tied, and be unable to market their opposition to his plan.