FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty
Something called "Botax" might help pay for health care reform. The name derives from a tax on Botox... which in the case of some Hollywood types could raise millions.
Senate Democrats are proposing a 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic procedures... that includes things like Botox injections, breast implants, tummy tucks, face lifts, liposuction, teeth whitening, eyelid repairs, etc.
The tax would bring in an estimated $6 billion over 10 years and wouldn't apply to cosmetic surgery meant to fix a deformity or injury.
Drug makers and plastic surgeons think this is a terrible idea. The company that makes Botox calls it an "easy target" and says the tax is "unnecessarily punitive".
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says it will hurt countless American women of every income level - that it's not just a tax on "wealthy, suburban Republican women."
They claim the tax would come at a particularly difficult economic time - when many women are trying to spruce up their looks as they search for jobs. I would offer that if you're out of work you probably wouldn't be getting Botox injections... but hey, what do I know?
It could have been worse. Lobbyists apparently succeeded in persuading lawmakers to reduce the tax from 10%, which would have brought in $11 billion over a decade.
Over the summer, many thought that Democrats weren't serious about the cosmetic surgery tax... but Harry Reid and Co. brought it back because they "needed money to make the bill work"."
SO HERE'S MY QUESTION TO YOU: Should the government tax cosmetic procedures like Botox, tummy tucks and liposuction to help pay for health care reform?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I love this idea. Those procedures are purely self-esteem issues and I have no problem adding a tax to them. As long as those who are getting it for good reasons (i.e. someone attacked them/horrific accident) don't have to pay the tax.
Why not? If you can afford cosmetic surgery, you can surely afford to donate some money to people who can't even afford basic medical care. At least this tax can't be passed on to the people we're trying to help, like the tax on medical devices.
Russ in Colorado
No. These elective procedures have nothing to do with health care. If we let them get away with it, they'll be taxing pet food and CDs to pay for high-speed rail next. That would make about the same amount of sense.
Why not? I paid a 10% tax on my sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich this morning. That's the tax rate on eating out in our nation's capital.
Karen in Scottsdale, Arizona
Taxing elective cosmetic procedures is an utterly ridiculous solution. I believe there is far more money to be raised by taxing unhealthy life choices (such as cigarettes, fast food, soft drinks, etc.) which actually contribute to the rising health care costs in this country. Why not impose a tax on these items and attempt to limit their consumption?
Sue in Idaho
You betcha, I've had all mine done.
Don in Newtown, Pennsylvania
Jack, Yes, and start with Joan Rivers. That alone would be enough to substantially reduce the national debt.