Saturday, October 25, 2008

physician income - Obama Tax Plan Would Hit Many Physicians Hard

I have no idea what percent of American physicians will vote for Senator Obama or Senator McCain, nor do I know which of their health plans physicians prefer.

But I do know this. Obama’s tax plan would hit many physicians hard. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to see this. In their 2007 book, Merritt Hawkins & Associates Guide to Physician Recruiting, the authors listed these average incomes for 15 recruited specialists.

1. Internal Medicine, $162,000
2. Family Medicine, $145,000
3. Radiology, $357,000
4. Orthopedic Surgery, $370,000
5. Cardiology, $342,000
6. General Surgery, $272,000
7. Hospitalists, $175,000
8. Ob/Gyn, $234,000
9. GI, $315,000
10. Emergency Physicians, $230,000
11. Urology, $320,000
12. Anesthesiology, $306,000
13. Psychiatry, $174,000
14. Neurology, $210,000
15. Otolaryngology, $272,000

These figures presumably are mostly starting salaries that would increase as physicians climb their career ladders. Consider the fact that 2/3s of American physicians are specialists, and it isn’t hard to imagine that most physicians would pay higher taxes, perhaps for a good cause.

Senator Obama has famously and repeatedly declared he will raise taxes on those make $250,000 or more, which would include the majority of physicians.

Take a look at the following data, compiled from Senator Obama’s and Senator McCain’s websites to see what effect that their dueling tax proposals would have on your personal taxes (Brain Carney, “The Election Choice: Taxes, “ Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2008).

Current Law McCain Obama

Highest Income, 35% 35% 41%
above $250,000

Capital Gains 15% 15% 20%

Dividends 15% 15% 20%

Income + Payroll 35% 35% 43-45%

Estate Tax 45% 15% 45%

Corporate Tax 35% 25% 35%

Depending on your income and your situation, you do the math, and you decide which tax plan you prefer and how this ties into your opinion on the candidate’s health plans.

No comments: