Tag Archives: elective surgery

Senate idea: Tax plastic surgery to pay for reform

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Peter Cohn of NationalJournal.com reports that the Senate Finance Committee has discussed, among other things, a 10 percent tax on the sort of cosmetic surgery that has no compelling medical reason.

performing-surgeryThe tax would build on a 1990 law that keeps folks from getting itemized deductions for cosmetic surgery “unless the surgery or procedure is necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease.”

It also mentions that, while several states have tried to tax cosmetic surgery, on New Jersey has succeeded. However, Malcolm Roth, vice president for health policy and advocacy at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, asserts that the “New Jersey tax has only brought in about 25 percent of anticipated revenue since it was enacted in 2004.”

Cohn’s report also includes some arguments against the tax, including the assertion that it would discriminate against the women who make up an overwhelming majority of plastic surgery patients.