Have you heard that our legislators are considering a 5% tax on cosmetic surgery? These days when healthcare reform is being tackled at the same time the economy is in the tank, it seems nothing is safe from the wandering eyes of elected leaders in search of revenue.
What do you think about the proposal?
You can imagine what plastic surgeons think. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued a press release a few days ago blasting the idea as discriminatory, having a negative impact on middle America and arbitrary.
Naturally, the ASPS is fundamentally pro-plastic surgery, and it’s helpful to consider the information they circulate in that light. But having said that, the organization has much to offer the general public. These are the people who make sure their members are thoroughly and professionally trained. (You cannot belong to the ASPS if your medical training is in dermatology, for instance.) The ASPS also maintains a very informative Web site at www.plasticsurgery.org.
So, recognizing the inherent pro-surgery bias, there’s a lot of great information coming from the ASPS. But in the case of the proposed plastic surgery tax, also called the “botax,” some of the group’s stated reasons for opposition are surprisingly silly.
Take a look at the press release here: www.prweb.com/releases/plastic_surgeons/healthcare_bill/prweb3237974.htm.
The first point the ASPS makes is that the tax is discriminatory, since more plastic surgery patients are women. That argument doesn’t hold water. The tax would be applied to male patients as well as female patients; it’s just that men don’t elect surgery in the same numbers that women do. Now if the tax would only be applied to women and not men, THAT would be unfair. Kind of like when women buy a suit and get charged for alterations and men do not. There’s real discrimination for you.
The second point the ASPS makes is that the tax would hit middle class women hard, since they are the largest group of patients. Well yes, but so what? Middle class women may very well be the largest general demographic, and everything hits the group hard. They buy cars, ouch! Clothes, wham!