Plastic Surgery Societies Respond to Elective Procedure Tax

The ASPS and ASAPS have responded to the proposed cosmetic surgery tax, calling it discriminatory, arbitrary, and ineffective.  Details of the bill are below:

”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.

Because 86 percent of cosmetic surgeries are purchased by women, many of which are middle class working people, the society has argued that it would be discriminatory.

The bill also imposes the burden of making clear distinctions between procedures that are “medically necessary” and simply elective.  Who should be making these distinctions?  Should it be a tax auditor?  Dr. Jennifer Walden appeared on Fox news last night to discuss such problems.