Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No Tax on Cosmetic Surgery

The proposed 5% tax on cosmetic surgery prompted much discussion, petitions and uprise. It was outrageous and one could argue it targeted women. No just wealthy woman, but woman of all economic demographics who want to maintain a youthful appearance. The effect would have had a significant impact on the cosmetic surgery industry and all the industries that supply the cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists. Economic times are difficult enough without an extra 5% tax on Botax,dermal fillers, facelifts, etc. Thankfully, there will be no tax on these services, at least for now. Instead there will be a 10% tax on tanning. Of course tanning booths owners are not happy and it will effect their business. Indoor tanning is risky since it can lead to cancer.

"Doctors’ groups, including the American Academy of Dermatology Association, apparently had a strong hand in persuading Senate Democratic leaders to make the modification — an enhancement, the doctors might say — to the legislation."

Say goodbye to the "Botax" and hello to the tan tax.
Health care » Doctors had launched a full-court press against the cosmetic surgery tax.
By Matt Canham
The Salt Lake Tribune
Marking their latest attempt to find a politically palatable way to pay for health reform, Senate Democrats dropped a tax on cosmetic surgeries in favor of a new one on indoor tanning.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid included the taxing switch as part of a package of amendments released over the weekend, which were aimed to get all 58 Democrats and two independents on board. It appears he succeeded and now with 60 supportive senators, Reid can overcome any Republican attempt to block the health reform bill. A final vote is expected to take place on Christmas Eve.
"I'm glad the cosmetic surgery tax at least for now is out, but we are not ready to celebrate just yet," said Renalto Saltz, a Utah physician and the president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
He remains cautious because his group was caught flat-footed in late November, when Reid added a 5 percent tax on everything from face-lifts to breast augmentations to his version of the bill.
Senate leaders expected the cosmetic surgery tax to raise $6 billion in the next decade, only a small portion of the money needed to create a new social safety net to help insure low- to middle-income Americans. But that was $6 billion more than cosmetic surgeons wanted their customers to pay.
It took only hours for cosmetic surgeons to start an aggressive lobbying campaign.
Saltz, who runs a private practice in Holladay, was deeply involved in the effort, which focused on getting former patients to complain to their senators. Groups such as the aesthetic plastic surgery society also lobbied other doctors' organizations to come to their defense. Saltz said they created a coalition of 22 surgical societies, involving some of the nation's biggest groups including the American Medical Association.
Together, they argued the tax unfairly focused on women and marked the first time an individual medical procedure would be taxed. They also suggested the tax could lead more people to leave the country for less regulated cosmetic procedures.

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