Cosmetic Surgery Tax

A majority of Americans oppose the inclusion of a five percent tax on cosmetic medical procedures, according to a recently released survey.

Opposition to the cosmetic tax by survey respondents was by a 52% - 43% margin. According to the survey, a large majority of respondents, by a 64% - 34% margin, agree that the cosmetic tax does not belong in health care reform. Because these procedures and treatments are not covered by health insurance, the tax will disproportionately impact middle class women. "It is clear from these results that

Americans disagree with this proposed tax," said Michael McGuire, MD, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). "Taxing medical procedures sets a dangerous precedent by inviting the Internal Revenue Service into the physician-patient relationship, and allowing the government to make decisions regarding medical necessity." A similar tax in New Jersey has realized less than one-third of the anticipated revenue. An independent audit of the New Jersey system found that it took $3.39 in expenditures just to collect a single dollar in tax -- making a cosmetic tax an unreliable way to fund health reform.

According to the survey, there was no significant difference in opposition to the proposed tax among men and women. On the other hand age was a factor; respondents over the age of 45 are much more likely to oppose the tax, with opposition increasing among older respondents. The survey further demonstrates that, by a 49% - 30% margin, respondents were more likely to oppose the tax once informed that sixty percent of all people planning to have cosmetic medical procedures report a household income of between $30,000 and $90,000.

This survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation among a national probability sample of 1,014 adults comprising 506 men and 508 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States.

Source American Society of Plastic Surgeons


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