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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dems to Tax Cosmetic Surgery

Harry Reid and his Democratic band of friends want to impose a 5% excise tax on all elective cosmetic surgeries (those which are not needed to repair deformaties or injuries caused by an accident or disfiguring disease). It's all in Section 9017 of Harry Reid's 2,074 page monstrosity released tonight:

There is hereby imposed on any cosmetic surgery and medical procedure a tax equal to 5 percent of the amount paid for such procedure (determined without regard to this section), whether paid by insurance or otherwise.
To where does the health care bill direct you for the definition of "cosmetic surgery"? To Section 213(d)(9)(B) of the IRS Code:

(B) Cosmetic surgery defined.— For purposes of this paragraph, the term “cosmetic surgery” means any procedure which is directed at improving the patient’s appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease.
That's 5% which falls mostly on women, who make up the bulk of cosmetic surgeries. Add 5% to every breast enlargement, nose job, face lift, tummy tuck, and liposuction.

Doesn't matter if you are rich, middle class or poor. 5% no matter what. And your doctor has to collect it from you, or else the doctor is on the hook for it.

So much for Obama's promise not to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000.

And I've only had the bill for a few minutes.

Added: Prof. Reynolds asks "Does Nancy Pelosi know about this?" Like all sales taxes, this hurts the little people most, so I doubt she cares.

Update: Provision in Reid Health Care Bill Could Hurt Dems in California

Related Posts:
Liberals' Teachable Palin Moment
100% Plus Taxation Key To Permanent Dem Majority
Never Missing An Excuse To Attack Trig Palin

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  1. Unless this tax is retroactive, looks like Nancy Pelosi won't have to pay the federal tax for her unblinking eyes and seamless features.

  2. I'm sure this is one of many such hidden insults to the American People.

  3. and thanks for the link so we can all tear it apart.

  4. What about reconstructive surgery after disease or disfiguring injury. What about prosthetics? Will breast cancer survivors be required to pay a 5% tax for breast reconstruction?

  5. The tax is too low. It should be 100%. This would...
    (a) provide more revenue for funding Medicare/Medicaid, and
    (b) deter doctors from becoming cosmetic surgeons, thus easing the demand for doctors in other specialties (like geriatrics)

  6. Er, Lance, do you have any evidence that [1] there would be a steady stream of revenue from such a 100% tax, as like all taxes it would cause people to alter their behavior (hmmm, maybe I should set up a plastic surgery center run by American trained docs in Cancun) or that [2] people who want to be plastic surgeons would automatically shift their focus and become geriatricians?

  7. Nancy's Botox really should be paid for by the people. Imagine the visual horror if she hadn't had them? Or (given that Botox apparently attacks the brain stem) she had full use of her intellectual faculties? Scary thought.

  8. so we're upset about the cost to all those poor people trying to get cosmetic surgery? if someone has the thousands of dollars it costs to feed their vanity, they can afford a 5% tax on it. way to argue for something this stupid, guys. steve....read carefully. are you really this slow to understand detail?

  9. What about congenital deformities? Or victims of burns? They have no illness or disease, they have a condition.

    Perhaps if they can get a shrink to say that the treatment is necessary to avoid depression (due to people vomiting when they walk in the room - it's happened). But if so, then many neurotic celebrities could claim the same.

  10. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I obviously oppose this tax. I am self-interested.

    But, why stop at cosmetic surgery? I wonder, why not tax all sorts of things we need less of? Why not tax extra any car worth more than $20K? Do you really need that V8? Tax it. Why not tax the lawyers? People hate them. Tax 'em. Why not tax Hostess ding-dongs? They are fattening and bad for you. Extra tax!

    The point is: People have a right to spend their money any damn way they want to. If they are vain, then, yes, let them get cosmetic surgery (from someone like me!). It's nobody's else's business. The patients have already paid income tax on that money, so why should they have to pay a 2nd time?

    Also, I need to clear up a few misconceptions.

    * a 100% tax? If I were to stop being a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I would not suddenly become a geriatrician. I would leave medicine. I have found my calling, and I am good at what I do.
    * Reconstructive and congenital problems: I don't think that anybody wants cleft lip repairs taxed extra, do they? What about burn care? What about after the burn heals, but there are still ugly scars? Is the government going to tell me when a patient turns from "reconstructive" to "cosmetic" after she has barely survived her burning house?

    This is a punitive tax, and it's ridiculous.

  11. Mmm, is there at least an exception is the "cosmetic" surgery is design to restore you from damage, i.e. a breast implant because you lost a breast, or facial reconstruction following an accident. like that woman with the face transplant, because her husband more or less destroyed the old one, is that cosmetic surgery?

    I think most people look askanse at face lifts just to avoid the normal ravages of age, but most of us make an exeption for when your face is wrecked by an accident.

    But i do get the logic. See, here is the problem the dems have with their plans: there are not enough doctors. And they see cosmetic surgery as a drain of doctors that could be treating patients with other conditions. So this is a small measure to try to keep some doctors from going the plastic surgery route.

  12. I'm sure this is one of the hidden insults to the American People.