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A Tax on Cosmetic Surgery — Love It or Leave It?

The Senate's proposed healthcare bill includes a novel approach to enhancing funding for reform: a five percent tax increase on cosmetic surgery. Procedures like tummy tucks, face lifts, hair plugs, collagen injections, Botox, or any other non-required procedure would get hit with the increase. The tax could raise as much as $6 billion.

If you think taxing superficial wealthy people to pay for the necessary health care of the poor sounds like a perfect idea, some people, namely cosmetic surgeons, say you got it all wrong. Statistics show that one-third of people who get plastic surgery make under $30,000 and 86 percent make less than $90,000. In addition, 85 percent of procedures are paid for by credit. So the tax would hit lower income people the hardest. Then again, maybe it makes sense to make cosmetic surgery even more out of reach in order to help fund basic healthcare needs. Still, more damaging to the cosmetic tax plan is the fact that a similar tax has so far failed in New Jersey, where it costs $3 trying to figure out what counts as "cosmetic" for every dollar raised from the tax.

Do you think the "botax" is worth a try?

Image Source: Getty
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