The recent healthcare reform bill that includes a 5 percent tax on elective procedures such as Botox, breast implants, liposuction, laser skin resurfacing and even teeth whitening has left many plastic surgeons and aesthetic surgery professionals shaking their heads. Patients and surgeons alike are rallying against the “Botax” that would end up adding a few extra dollars – and a few extra hundred dollars, in some cases – to the fees for popular procedures.
Allergan, the makers of Botox Cosmetic, has officially launched a campaign against the proposed “Botax,”. Allergan’s Chief Executive Officer David Pyott recently made a public statement, indicating that the impact of the tax would be “pretty marginal” for the company, but it that “we really feel strongly this is bad policy.”
Many professionals in the industry have pointed out that the Botax is actually a discriminatory tax because it will mostly affect middle class women between the ages of 25 and 35, the group that makes up the most significant amount of the cosmetic surgery market.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons stats that about 60 percent of people planning to have cosmetic surgery live in households with an annual income below $90,000. (Source: Reuters.com)
The Botax is expected to raise nearly $6 billion over the next ten years, and the fund would help to pay for the healthcare “overhaul” that is estimated to cost about $849 billion. The Botax would not only affect sales of Botox and other injectable fillers, but would also be applicable to procedures such as Latisse eyelash enhancers, liposuction, breast implants, laser skin resurfacing, facial rejuvenation treatments and even teeth whitening.
Allergan has set up a Facebook page to rally against the Bota, and more than 10,000 people have signed an online petition against the tax. According to Reuters.com, approximately 7,500 letters have already been sent to local senators.