The BoTax: Cosmetic Surgery & Health Care Reform

The BoTax: Cosmetic Surgery & Health Care Reform

While most of the media discussion surrounding the proposed healthcare reform bill has focused on medical insurance coverage for traditional testing, procedures, and doctor or hospital visits, new taxes proposed in the bill have sparked much buzz, as well. After the Senate vote passed the bill into debate in November, taxes such as the 5 percent proposed tax on cosmetic procedures have been in the spotlight. The tax, nicknamed the “botax,” is one of several proposed taxes to help fund the healthcare overhaul, and would include the gamut of elective cosmetic procedures, including Botox.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery has formally opposed the proposed tax, arguing that this tax hasn’t shown to raise projected revenues in New Jersey, the only state that has implemented a plastic surgery tax. The AACS has also highlighted the sometimes blurry line between what is considered “cosmetic” and what is medically necessary, and that those electing cosmetic procedures are often middle-class individuals, not just the wealthy. The fact that the tax would directly impact the middle-class has caused many journalists and bloggers to speak out, citing President Obama’s campaign promise not to increase taxes on those earning less than $200,000 per year.

The AACS has spoken out against the tax because it is a serious consideration of the current healthcare reform bill. As the bill undergoes lengthy debates, the cosmetic procedure tax, as well as other proposed taxes, will no doubt receive much attention. As healthcare reform progresses, if it looks like the botax might become law, there may be quite a few citizens clamoring for surgery before they have to pay an extra five percent. If you are interested in learning more about the cosmetic tax, who it could impact, and what it might mean for you, speak with a licensed professional in your area and/or your local congressman.

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