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October 11, 1965

Social Security and the Physician

Author Affiliations

Dr. Hall is assistant director, AMA Department of Economics.

JAMA. 1965;194(2):203-206. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090150095031

One of the major objectives of most modern "social insurance" programs is universality of coverage; yet self-employed American physicians were able to maintain their independence from the federal Old-Age, Survivors' and Disability Insurance program for almost 30 years. The sweeping amendments to the Social Security Act which were signed into law on July 30, however, ended the era of the self-employed physician's nonparticipation. All physicians now will be liable for OASDI taxes for the taxable year ending Dec 31, 1965, and thereafter. The first tax payment by self-employed physicians will be due on or before April 15, 1966. Benefits will be available to this group, depending on eligibility discussed below.

Taxes  What changes are in store? The most obvious one will be that nearly all physicians will immediately begin paying Social Security taxes at the maximum level, since few, if any, earn less than $6,600 annually. Though many physicians on

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