Proposed ‘Botox Tax’ Draws Wide Array of Opponents

By Janet Morrissey

A proposal to slap a 5% tax on wrinkle fillers, botox shots, breast implants, and other elective cosmetic medical procedures as part of President Obama’s health-care reform package is raising disapproving eyebrows among some groups. …

… Opponents contend the tax will unfairly target middle-income women, threaten the confidentiality of patient reports, and lead to a surge in people traveling to other countries for wrinkle-zapping procedures. …

… A bigger concern, however, is that the tax will open up a Pandora’s box that will likely pit doctors against bureaucrats over what is considered cosmetic and what is reconstructive. “For example, I do a lot of breast reconstruction, so when I’m treating a cancer patient’s normal breast and putting in a lift to match the reconstructed breast, is that elective or is that reconstructive?” says Saltz. “Now, who’s going to make that decision? Is it going to be a bureaucrat or a tax person that’s going to tell me or my patient that they have to pay [tax] on that breast?” …

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