Now that the Senate has eliminated the idea of a Botax from the recent health care reform bill, a move that would have imposed a 5 percent tax on elective procedures, plastic surgeons and other medical professionals are breathing a sigh of relief.
The Botax would have generated nearly $6 billion over the next decade and would have applied to popular cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures including breast implants, face lifts and liposuction. However, the Senate agreed to nix the tax and introduced a new tax that would affect tanning salons. As of July 1, 2010, all tanning services – except spray tanning – will be subject to a 10 percent sales tax.
American Medical Association President-elect Cecil B. Wilson recently made a statement in support of the the concession of the Botax. The AMA has received some benefits from the recent healthcare reform bill, as the proposed fee on physicians to enroll in Medicare has been dropped entirely.
President Barack Obama stated that the Senate’s new health care bill will “make a tremendous difference for families, for seniors, for businesses and for the country as a whole.”
Plastic surgeons, prospective patients and even companies such as Allergan fought a long fight against the 5% levy when the idea was first introduced in late 2009. California-based Allergan launched a formal plan against the Botax plan in November and by raising objections with lawmakers, creating a Facebook page and launching a website against the Botax. The fierce lobbying and public outcry against the proposed tax may have helped to change the Senate’s decision.
With the new changes, an estimated 20,000 tanning salons in the United States, as well as hair salons and spas will be directly affected by the proposed bill. Dermatologists and other medical professionals believe that this tax may actually help to reduce the number of incidents of skin cancer that are linked to overexposure from a tanning salon.