Saturday, November 21, 2009
Last year, I decided to have my first elective "cosmetic" procedure done to enhance my looks. After wearing glasses since the third grade, I had PRK laser surgery to correct eyesight that had gotten so bad that contacts were not an option, and I had a hard time reading the big "E" at the top of the eye chart. Had I waited and had it done next year, I may have been paying a 5% tax on the procedure.
In the Senate version of the hideous health care bill is a provision that would impose a 5% tax on all elective cosmetic surgery. Botox treatments (Pelosi is probably hyperventilating), laser vision correction, nose jobs, and liposuction would all be taxed. The tax would apply to all procedures done after January 1, 2010.
The provision of the bill reads as follows:
Page 2045 SEC. 9017. EXCISE TAX ON ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES. (a) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter: ''CHAPTER 49-ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES ''Sec. 5000B. Imposition of tax on elective cosmetic medical procedures. ''SEC. 5000B. IMPOSITION OF TAX ON ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES. ''(a) IN GENERAL.-There is hereby imposed on any cosmetic surgery and medical procedure a tax equal to 5 percent of the amount paid for such procedure (determined without regard to this section), whether paid by insurance or otherwise. ''(b) COSMETIC SURGERY AND MEDICAL PROCEDURE.-For purposes of this section, the term 'cosmetic surgery and medical procedure' means any cosmetic surgery (as defined in section 213(d)(9)(B)) or other similar procedure which- ''(1) is performed by a licensed medical professional, and ''(2) is not necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or disfiguring disease. ''(c) PAYMENT OF TAX.- ''(1) IN GENERAL.-The tax imposed by this section shall be paid by the individual on whom the procedure is performed. ''(2) COLLECTION.-Every person receiving a payment for procedures on which a tax is imposed under subsection (a) shall collect the amount of the tax from the individual on whom the procedure is performed and remit such tax quarterly to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as provided by the Secretary. ''(3) SECONDARY LIABILITY.-Where any tax imposed by subsection (a) is not paid at the time payments for cosmetic surgery and medical procedures are made, then to the extent that such tax is not collected, such tax shall be paid by the person who performs the procedure.''. (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.-The table of chapters for subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by this Act, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 48 the following new item: ''CHAPTER 49-ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES''. (c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall apply to procedures performed on or after January 1, 2010.
Many people (especially women) take plastic surgery to an extreme. They have numerous nose jobs, tummy tucks, boob jobs, and face lifts in the name of vanity. A lot of times, they look so fake that any natural beauty they possessed is forever gone. But you know what? THAT'S THEIR CHOICE! They pay for the procedures out-of-pocket. Now the government wants to make sure that the free exchange of money for medical services is hit.
Passage of this provision starts us on a very slippery slope. Today, elective cosmetic surgery. Tomorrow, a tax on tests to monitor diabetes and heart disease. Mark my words. This crowd hasn't met a tax they didn't like.
I always said that if I were to hit the lottery, the first thing I'd get is man-made boobs. Nothing a la Pam Anderson, but something to give me just a little shape. Now it appears that that's just one more dream shattered by the current administration.