Proposed Tax on Elective Cosmetic Surgeries Faces Criticism from Surgeons

A recent Fox News story shed light on the plan to institute a “Plastic Surgery Tax” as part of the plan to pay for healthcare reform. Comically referred to as the “Botax”, the plastic surgery tax would be a 5 percent excise tax on cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures – ultimately resulting in a rise in cost to the consumer. If passed, the tax is projected to raise $6 billion over the next 10 years.

So if this tax was approved, who would it affect? According to Fox, women and the middle class. Statistics show that 86 percent of plastic surgery patients are women. Also, in a 2004 survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it was found that about 30 percent of participants considering plastic surgery reported an average household income below $30,000 and only 13 percent of participants had a household income of more than $90,000 – highlighting how many current and future cosmetic surgery patients are part of the middle class.

There is a common misconception that plastic surgery is only for the rich and famous, which is part of the reasoning that went behind the formulation of this tax, but if you look at the facts – the majority of plastic surgery patients are middleclass women.

If this tax is approved and the cost of plastic surgery rises, it will not only result in a decline in the number of plastic surgery procedures, but will also result in a rise in the number of people who seek more “affordable” plastic surgery in the wrong places. In order to take advantage of slash cut pricing, patients may opt to undergo surgery at unaccredited sites with unqualified people. More people will also travel outside of the US for these procedures into countries that have less strict or nonexistent regulations.

When it comes to any sort of medical care, especially surgery, you should not compromise quality in order to save money. It is important that you visit only board certified plastic surgeons for any plastic surgery procedure you are considering.   Visit our website to find out about Dr. John LeRoy’s qualifications and certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.