Can a Botox Tax Smooth Wrinkles in National Healthcare Debate?

Botox CosmeticOn Monday Montana Democrat and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus told reporters that he had heard some “interesting,” “creative,” and “kind of fun” ideas about smoothing some of the wrinkles in President Obama’s highly contested overhaul of the US healthcare industry.

According to Sen. Baucus a new 10% tax on cosmetic procedures was proposed. Although far from definite, this tax would be applied to cosmetic procedures, defined by law as “any procedure which is directed at improving the patient’s appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease.” This could include procedures such as facelifts, breast implants, hair restoration and, of course, Botox Cosmetic injections to smooth wrinkles.

Although many states have tried to enact similar taxes on cosmetic procedures such as Botox, results have been inconsistent. New Jersey, which currently has a 6% cosmetic procedure tax, has brought in only 25% of the anticipated revenue since the tax was enacted in 2004 according to Malcolm Roth of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Needless to say, the proposed Botox tax or “Bo-Tax” has ignited the passions of many on both sides of the issue.

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More information at The National Journal’s Congress Daily.