Watch the above video as Neil Cavuto interviews Dr. Jennifer Walden, Manhattan Plastic Surgeon, on Fox Business News on the proposed cosmetic surgery tax in the Senate version of the health care bill. Many plastic surgeons and surgical societies oppose this tax as discriminatory, arbitrary and ineffective.
As Dr. Walden explains, about 90 percent of cosmetic surgery patients are female so
elective surgery taxes unfairly target women. Contrary to popular belief, cosmetic surgery is no longer an
exclusive luxury reserved for the very wealthy – the vast majority of patients are women who work.
Research by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons targeting those who plan to have cosmetic surgery
within the next two years reveals that 60 percent of the respondents report an annual household income of $30,000-$90,000. Most importantly, 40 percent of those report income of
$30,000-$60,000. Only 10 percent of the respondents report
household income of more than $90,000.
It would be an inappropriate position for physicians to be put in to be tax collectors, and the government is in no position to determine medical necessity. A similar program in NJ is about to be repealed as it failed in that state with a huge administrative burden and budget shortfall. We hope the politicians come to their senses on this proposed tax and do not set this precedent of taxing patients and physicians to solve their budget crisis in healthcare reform.