Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New US Federal Tax on Cosmetic Surgery


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Perhaps you've heard of the current healthcare bill before the US Senate, Page 2045 Sec. 9017, Excise Tax on Elective Cosmetic Medical Procedures included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This dense legalese translates to a tax on all cosmetic procedures as partial payment for the healthcare overhaul our current administration is attempting to implement. The provision would add a five percent tax to "cosmetic surgery and medical procedures" to help cover the $849 billion price tag for health care reform. The tax would cover any cosmetic medical procedure deemed "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. The US government is trying to apply a sin tax akin to that on cigarettes and tobacco on cosmetic surgery.



So what's the problem? YOU would be paying this tax, the FIRST time this country has levied a tax on patients for medical procedures. What's at stake?

• This is a discriminatory tax. According to the Aesthetic Society Annual Statistics, 91% of all cosmetic procedures are requested by women

• This will not have considerable consequences on the wealthiest patients but, as usual, affects the middle class. Working women, soccer moms, and scores of others who carefully save and budget to improve their appearance and self esteem will be penalized for doing so.

• Procedures such as breast reduction that have been cited in the literature for improving self esteem and quality of life would be taxed as well

• Your doctor as tax collector: This provision places physicians in the role of tax collector and holds physicians liable should an individual fail or refuse to pay the tax. Is that the relationship you want with your medical provider? Furthermore the IRS will be able to obtain access to your medical records in search of procedures that should be taxed but the tax was not paid. They will end up deciding what is cosmetic and what is not cosmetic.

• It is misleading to say this is just 5%. If you have a complication or result you are not exactly happy with all touch ups and revisions will also be taxed. If they tax the procedure it isn't long before they tax the materials used in these procedures. If the feds tax it the states will follow. New Jersey already implemented a tax on cosmetic surgery. All that did was force patients to leave New Jersey for surgery in New York and Pennsylvania. The predict tax windfall failed to materialize.

• Those proposing the tax say it is to pay for health care reform. My question is what health care reform? The supposed public option is not in fact public like Canadian and European systems. It will be subcontracted out to the same current insurance company thieves just with more government oversight. We all know how that works looking at the banking fiascos of 2007 to 2009 that occurred under government oversight. Furthermore we all know that just like the money from tobacco companies that was supposed to go to healthcare this money will end up in the general fund. It will end up buying bombs, payoffs to governments we hope will do our bidding, infrastructure buildout, etc.

Please help us stop this silly and penetrative tax. To find your State Senator please click here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Also please visit http://stopcosmetictax.org/ to sign the online petition, found out what you can do and tell all your friends and family.

We urge you to personally inform the government that you are against this tax – together we can fight for your right to no government interference in medical care and stop this discriminatory measure against women!

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