To help pay for the nearly $1 trillion healthcare reform package, the U.S. Senate is proposing a 5% tax on cosmetic surgeries and procedures. It’s a last minute, surprise addition to the over 2000 page bill. The new tax is expected to raise $5 billion over the next 10 years. Last year, over 12 million elective cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the U.S.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) opposes this tax.
ASPS’ president Dr. Michael McGuire says that “Elective surgery taxes discriminate against women, given that 86 percent of cosmetic surgery patients are female, of which 91 percent are between the working ages of 19-64.” Dr. McGuire goes on to say that contrary to popular belief, cosmetic surgery isn’t exclusively for the rich anymore. Many middle, working class Americans are able to afford and take advantage of the many cosmetic surgery options out there.
New Jersey is the only state in the union to tax cosmetic procedures and surgeries. Since its enactment in 2004, the state’s Department of Taxation has reported a 59% shortfall in anticipated revenues. Eight other states have considered these types of taxes but have rejected them.
The bill clearly states the tax is only to be levied on elective procedures but Dr. Renato Saltz, president of the ASAPS contends that the distinction between elective and reconstructive surgery isn’t always clear.
Bookmark and check often with the Florida plastic surgery blog at AccentMD for any information concerning the current healthcare proposals working their way through Congress and its effects on cosmetic surgery.