Say hello to Botax, the 5% tax on cosmetic procedures that was a surprise addition to the roughly 2,000 page health care reform bill. The proposed tax, scheduled to take effect January 2010, has been suggested as a way to help fund health care reform.
The tax applies to all surgeries that are "not necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or disfiguring disease."
Prominent Philadelphia/New Jersey plastic surgeon Kirk Brandow, MD, FAACS, founder of the Brandow Clinic, says the tax unfairly targets women, since 89% of all procedures are sought by women. He also believes it heavily targets baby boomers, since the majority of those seeking cosmetic enhancements are in that age group.
Dr. Brandow says, "Overall, I support health care reform, but I'm against this piece of it. The legislators supporting this bill may perceive plastic surgery as frivolous, but making a person feel better is hardly inconsequential."
Dr. Brandow feels it's a mistake to trivialize cosmetic procedures especially given the recession, because a majority of people are having surgery or dermal fillers to help them compete in a tough job market.
Brandow Clinic of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery