Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a late change to the healthcare reform bill that will levy a 5 percent tax on cosmetic surgery to help supplement the legislation’s $849 billion price tag.
The plan, which is projected to raise approximately $6 billion in tax revenue, would not apply to surgeries that are in response to injury or deformity, but would include all elective cosmetic procedures.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) is vigorously opposing the plan, stating that the tax is discriminatory against women, who make up the majority of cosmetic surgery patients.
The AAFPRS also states that experts have found that approximately 60 percent of plastic surgery clients reported a household income between $30,000 and $90,000 annually.
"The common misconception is that this is going to tax wealthy, suburban Republican women," said Dr Phil Haeck, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, quoted by the Associated Press.
While speaking against these tax increases, an Op Ed article in the Los Angeles Times points out that elective cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance and that they don’t contribute to rising healthcare costs.
TaxFoundation.org stated in 2005 that "selective excise taxes on cosmetic surgery may be a politically painless ways to boost short-term revenues, but that doesn’t make them good long-term tax policy."