November 20th, 2009
02:01 PM ET

Taxing Botox, liposuction to pay for health care reform?

Senate Democrats are proposing a 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic procedures.

Senate Democrats are proposing a 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic procedures.

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.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Don (Ottawa)

    No; they should not tax any health care procedure, cosmetic or not. Taking from Peter to pay for Paul is just smoke and mirrors. When will people learn that there is no free lunch. Fix the tax code so everybody pays their fair share.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  2. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Isn't this considered double taxation on the rich? Tax the rich a surcharge and now tax them for their plastic surgery. How about a special tax for the Hollywood elite. Is there no end to the taxation by Liberals? Everything under the sun is being taxed to provide health care for those without it. What is wrong with those who need health care paying for their own premium? Self responsibility seems to be extinct.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  3. Dave in Cincinnati

    No. The government has no business getting involved in health care. The tax on cosmetic surgery is just an excuse to add to the government's coffers. Their interest in providing health care for Americans will last as long as it works for them politically. Until they addresses tort reform, allows 100% of medical expenses to be deducted and allows for insurance companies to sell across state lines there will be no meaningful reform.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  4. Jayne

    If it's medically unnecessary, tax it. They might also tax those sugary "juice drinks and sodas," calorie heavy fast foods and junk food in general. Booze and smokes, too. People wouldn't need so much cosmetic surgery if they didn't fill their bodies full of garbage and buy the fantasy world sold to them in movies and on television.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Ann C from Nashville

    Yes...let's put a pretty face on this issue.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  6. Scott

    Great idea, Nancy Pelosi will pay the price after all. Seriously, this taxing every single thing we do is out of hand. Time for government to quit picking our pockets and come up with a flat tax. EVERYONE pay the same % with no write offs and eliminate the thousands of different taxes we pay. Democrats have never met a tax they didn't like.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  7. Paul, Austin, Texas

    That is the best idea I have heard yet since the California Pot and Cafe place where you can buy pot and eat. Both Botox and liposuction are not a needed procedures and liposuction is just for people that are to lazy to workout. Tax them both and tax them at least as hard as the tabacco tax.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  8. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    On the surface it sounds like another luxury tax, and I'm sure there are plenty of other things that would generate income for health care. A severe tax on unhealthy food ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and other chemical killers might be a good place to start.. It would seem that a better control of what is making us so sick would eventually have a greater impact on health care costs. A junk food tax would produce an astounding amount of revenue and would probably pay for the whole country to have free health care.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  9. Mary

    That would be a great way for the "haves" to help pay for the "have nots." If one can afford cosmetic procedures, a tax is a good idea.

    Anyone who complains about this is over privileged and needs to be taxed more in the first place.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Tony from Southport

    Of course. Most Hollywood actors and producers make millions and have those procedures like the rest of us go for check-ups. So do the fat cats in Washington.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: Two things are present in your question. Elective procedures and surgeries should be taxed, and defintely the government should not have to pay for elective anything. I would rather those making between $500,000 and 1,000,000 pay for health care reform, because they did pay from 2004 until the end of 2010. They got a taxcut while the rest of us pay for 2 wars and the on going restoration of New Orleans.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  12. Randy from Salt Lake City

    You know, maybe they should try taxing people who aren't paying taxes, like Goldman Sucks, JPMorgan Chase, Halliburton, Exonmobile, etc., etc. And, also, if we closed most of our overseas bases, we'd be able to afford heathcare for all. But then, these would made sense, which means it won't happen and the little people will be taxed to the max. This country sucks.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  13. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Yes~ because in most cases it is not a matter of life and death!

    November 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  14. Terry from North Carolina

    If you can afford botox, liposuction and tummy tucks, you can certainly help pay for health care reform.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  15. Rob of Brooklyn

    if they do that all those surgeries will go underground. you watch. there will be a drastic drop in those procedures

    November 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    Dadgum straight we should! They wouldn't be able to afford all that plastic surgery stuff if they weren't making money off the rest of us in some way! While they are getting Botox to look younger, I could use a hand in affording the medicines that keep me alive!

    November 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  17. southerncousin

    Maybe that is somebody's perverse idea to get Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer to back off of it. It won't work the SEIU will give them all the "nip and tuck" money they want if the just keep doing what the SEIU wants.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  18. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    No. The Government needs to get out of the insurance business. Why must we always penalize people for being successful? If they can afford and get some kind of satisfaction from those kinds things then good for them. The government needs to revoke the Anti-trust exemption, allow people to shop for the best insurance anywhere, not just in their state, and create tax incentives to promote giving care to the uninsured. The answer to our problems is not a luxury tax

    November 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  19. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    When you think about it, Jack, our taxes paid or at least subsidized the surgeon's education, often including the highest levels. Our taxes built the hospital, or we at least provided grants and low cost loans. Our taxes maintain the structure in which botox squanders our investment. If we can't get life saving out of our investment, we should at least get some monetary return.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  20. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Yes, these are cheap forms of cosmetic surgery that only the vain among us who are too lazy to exercise and take care of themselves would indulge in. I don’t want to pay for the cost of fixing the results of the poor lifestyle choices they have made.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  21. Moe Highland Village tx

    Sure, why not ? They also should tax certain things in Congress, like adultery, alcoholism, lying, taking bribes, voting for your own pay raises and postage to mail lies..

    November 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  22. Russ in PA

    Of course not. What nonsense! When are people going to learn that there is no free lunch? Unless, of course, you're hoping to be one of the many on the government dole. Until people start demanding that the free market be left to iron out health care, there will be no reform. Unless you consider reform to be to "tax the few to pay for the many"...

    November 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  23. Joanne B

    Liposuction is such small issue re this Health Care Legislation. The issue is there is five yrs of taxes, fines and mandates collected before the bill goes into force.....10 yrs of taxes collected with five yrs of coverage. How sick could they be in the head?
    Joanne B

    November 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  24. Gordo, NJ

    Why not? It's no skin off my naturally aging nose.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  25. Audrey Fryer

    Of course and breast augmentations and new noses and facelifts.

    Vancouver Island, B.C.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  26. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    Vanity, Vanity, is thy name. Of course tax Botox, tummy tucks, implants and ALL elective cosmetic treatments and surgeries. I'm surprised it isn't already taxed. If you can afford to have the work done, you can afford to be taxed on it.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  27. Chad from Los Angeles


    This is a win-win no matter how you look at it.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  28. Mark Steward

    No, no, no, they should tax the goverment and state worker excluding military they get all the holiday pay.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  29. Larry in California

    I'm a seventy year old male who's never altered his appearance in any way and never intends to do so. I guess that means I should favor it because it's no skin off my nose. Isn't that the American way? In a perfect democracy, everyone gets and nobody pays. The Chinese, unfettered by perfect democracy, supply us with our daily needs and soak up our debt so our party and their party can go on as long as possible. There's one small problem with this orgy of immediacy. Their party goes on after ours is over. I know it's unAmerican to say it, but they will have gotten their continuance the old fashioned way, by earning it.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  30. Warren Sanford

    I think it would only be appropriate to tax elective cosmetic procedures-except where the health and well being of the patient is at risk i.e. diabetes or coronary patients-reconstructive surgery-I would exempt these...But I would slap a 25% tax on a boob job-Carrie can afford it.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  31. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Yes it should be taxed just like cigaretts are taxed to help pay for health care. The wealthy will still have their procedures to try and make themselves look young and after all it is elective.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  32. Meg from Troy

    If people can afford cosmetic surgery in these tough economic times, then I'm sure that they can afford a five percent tax. I'm tired of the whining–better healthcare has to be funded somehow. This seems like a particularly good funding solution to me. If you don't want to pay the tax, don't have elective cosmetic surgery.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  33. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,if these procedures are being performed for cosmetic reasons,then yes ,they should be taxed,if for health reasons,then, no.The price of vanity is expensive!

    November 20, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  34. William

    Can you imagine what Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington would say to this question? Our government and it's "leaders" are running scared, and rightfully so. Their ONLY answer to any issue, or problem is to either throw our kids blood or our money at it.
    But we Americans deserve these bozo's because we continue to elect them to be our representatives.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  35. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Jack all a doctor has to do is say that these procedures are medically necessary and they instantly will be covered with tax payer dollars. The federal Government is grasping at straws to find something to tax to pay for this health care bill. Before it is all said and done they may even tax toilet paper to pay for it. Almost everyone uses it and what they use it for is equal in value to this Health Care bill.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  36. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    Jack, look at it this way: It’s an equal opportunity thing. It could level the playing field between those who can afford to be Botoxed, tucked, and liposucked and those of us who whose financial circumstances force us to graciously accept the ravishes of time and gravity without benefit of Botoxing, tucking, and k\liposucking. Sometimes, life just ain't fair.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  37. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Yes I think they should. It is an unnecessary surgery or procedure and would affect only the people who have the money and would pay for it no matter what the cost. Just think of the money they would have received from people like Bruce Jenner, Kenny Rogers, and Joan Rivers alone. It's a great idea they should've thought of it a lot sooner. Botox and unnecessary plastic surgery is for the rich. I am 65 years old and retired machinist and I do not know any of my friends or acquaintances that had it done or could afford to have it done.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  38. Albert K., from Los Angeles

    Yes, but Jack, how about a sliding scale Botax where the more procedures you get, the less tax you pay. Start with a 20% tax for a single procedure but the tax rate decends to as low as 2% with each additional precedure so that the bigger your lips and the more your face is lifted, the smaller, or lower, your tax rate will be. Doctors and patiants will smile and we all will smile at them.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  39. keith in ky

    no, the goverment needs to do it's job as stated in the constitution and quit trying to find something else to tax so they can get more of the peoples money. What is the matter with the citizens in this country can't you see what these morons(elected officals) are doing to us, or have you just become a herd of sheep willing to set back and take what ever crumbs they are willing to give you!! Besides Pelosi would never let that tax pass, just like she exemped the american semoa islands from the minimum wage increase because she owns a tuna packing company there, anything that adversly affects her won't make it into law ie. Botox.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  40. Joe CE

    Seems OK.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  41. Donna Wisconsin

    As you said Jack, someone unemployed probably doesn't have healthcare so wouldn't be getting plastic surgery anyway. Sounds good to me! Preventative care is what most Americans want. Plastic surgery is for the wealthy or those who have 'premium' healthcare.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  42. Melissa

    That stuff is all voluntary beauty treatments to fulfill unbelievably selfish vanity. I'm fine if they want to tax it.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  43. Al from SoCal

    This is almost comical if they weren't serious. Healthcare paid by the fat of those in the land. That would sure be some kind of a FAT TAX..

    November 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  44. Jimmy from Houston

    When will this ridiculous taxation end? Are they still considering the soda tax to help pay for their health care bill? The government keeps coming at us from all sides for our money. If this bill is going to reduce costs and reduce the deficit, why do they need to raise all this money? Is there something wrong with having premiums for the health care coverage? Everyone who needs it, pay their own premium, kind of like auto insurance. What a concept, self responsibility.............foreign words to these politicians.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  45. Sarah in Texas

    The real question here is why haven't these procedures been taxed in the past. Health insurance policies are exempt from taxes for a reason - because they cover health expenses. Cosmetic surgery is not a health expense. And I'm sorry, but the argument that women need to "spruce up" their appearance to get jobs, is sexist, demeaning, and disgusting. Women should be judged on job performance not on whether their eyelids are crinkled or their breasts sexually arouse their male co-workers. How obnoxious.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  46. john ....... marlton, nj

    The democrats are out of control ..... they are absolutely goofy..... what's next taxing dentist visits.. because my teeth are "whiter" ... Any idiot senator (or rep) that has or will vote for the health care bill will be removed from office their next respective election cycle...

    Let NJ's Corzine be an example.. the state taxes school supplies but not leather jackets... idiots... I can't wait for Christie to be inaugurated... I hope he fires half of the state workers.......

    November 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  47. george

    Why not, if someone can afford to just go get surgery just to look better, why not ?? They still tax my gasoline, and just about everything else, so why not?

    November 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  48. Lucy

    "...hurt countless American women"??? What I think hurts countless American women is the idea that they need to get work done to be considered beautiful. Call me crazy, but I don't think beauty is defined by having big boobs, being super thin, and wrinkle-free. Being able to accept yourself and still feel beautiful with all of your flaws is by far more valuable than a boob job. That being said, this idea is brilliant, pure brilliance, especially for this great state of CA, where plastic surgery is the norm. Looks like we don't need to legalize marijuana anymore.
    SF, CA

    November 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  49. K

    of course drug companies and plastic surgeons are upset. an excise tax is on cigarettes and alcohol so why not elective cosmetic procedures. sounds good to me.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  50. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Taxing Botox and liposuction? I can hear the wive's of those in Congress screaming now how they'll have to cut down of procedures. Of course, the flawless ladies in Congress do not need either. But seriously, if you can afford such procedures that extra tax won't stop a person. If fact, I doubt anyone would notice.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  51. Al, Lawrence KS

    Suddenly all of our politicians (and much of the media) will look much older...and don't forget to tax spray on tans...need to make sure that Boehner pays his fair share.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  52. Al from SoCal

    This is almost comical if they weren't serious. Healthcare paid by the fat of those in the land. That would sure be some kind of a FAT TAX.. maybe you qualify for some tax augmentation. Or get a implanted tax. Maybe they realize that what all this tax talk that more more Americans will try to opt out with new identities and new faces courtesy of plastic surgeons.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  53. Peg from NY

    Absolutely YES! These are all elective procedures so pay for them out of your own pocket!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  54. Ed

    For our morale during these dark times, boob jobs should be exempt.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  55. T. G. from the virgin islands

    That's a good idea! The majority of people who are going to the plastic surgeons for cosmetic procedures are rich celebrities and aristocrats. If they make enough money for these procedures, then they can afford to pay a few extra dollars in taxes.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  56. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I have a better idea. Let's jsut tax the hot air emmitted from Congress. That should balance the budget.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  57. Winkum


    November 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  58. JENNA

    Should the government tax cosmetic procedures like Botox, tummy tucks and liposuction to help pay for health care reform?

    Most definately! We pay taxes when we get our hair cut and colored so why not? Vanity tax. Brilliant!

    Roseville CA

    November 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  59. Mr. D

    Harry and company needs a lot more than "botax " revenue to make the health care plan solvent. Instead of taxing body fat removal, let the government work on "political pork/fat being removed from the federal budget.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  60. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    I have no problem if non-injury cosetic procedures are taxed as a means of paying for health care reform. In most cases non-injury cosmetic procedures don't really help anyway. I've been a long time believer in the idea that if God wants you beautiful he'll make you that way to begin with. What ever happened to the days when only your hairdresser knew for sure whether your hair was it's real color or not. I wonder if Sarah Palin is all real or does only her husband know for sure? I sometimes feel like I'm the only one that isn't getting botox if I pay attention to the radio commercials. Let's just tax botox and move on.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  61. Terry in Hanover

    I think a better tax would be to tax our elected representatives for every lie they tell us. Surely, that would bring in more than $6B a year, wouldn't it, Jack?

    November 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  62. steve in virginia

    No. We need healthcare reform but not this nonsense. If it does pass, I think we should demand that they pay for it as Obama promised- by eliminating waste and fraud from Medicare without decreasing benefits. I also think we should also demand that the promise of no new taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 be kept. The last thing we need right now are more taxes.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  63. Loren, Chicago

    That the Federal government may tax botox and elective cosmetic procedures to fund its so-called Health Care reform justs shows how bankrupt the reform idea was to begin with. Do they really think that there are that many procedures done that it would be anyting more than a cosmetic fix for the budgetary gap that this so-called reform will create? Fix the big holes in government spending we all know exist and there will be be lots of money for this so-called reform, but we all know that it's easier to make the grand gesture (Health Care reform), than it is to actually do some work (fix government spending). Apparently, the Republicans are right, all the Democrats want to do is spend money and tax everyone

    November 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  64. Tina Tx

    I am so ashamed of how my fellow baby boomers have become. They cannot accept the fact that they are growing older & will go down & get a new face pulled up from God knows where to their face. Yes they need to be taxed and quite heavily for being so vain and stupid. You should only get a new face if you have been in a bad car wreck.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  65. RichP

    I hear there is some European companies paying big bucks for fat. Maybe they might come in handy.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  66. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Yes Jack, cosmetic surgery is simply a cash cow which is being 'milked' due to the poor opinions too many 'schleps' [sp. ??]have of themselves !!! Perhaps this might put a dent in this field and some doctors [??] may get back into real medicine !!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  67. John

    Yes, taxing procedures would go along way in health care reform. This is a luxury and luxuries should be taxed.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  68. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Sounds like a good idea for so many reasons. It might help these superficial people to concentrate on real issues for a change instead of obsessing over themselves in front of a mirror. Hey I’m nothing to look at and I’ve gotten through life just fine.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  69. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, get real, please. $6B is a spit in the ocean next to the $1T plus that health care reform is going to cost us. This is just more smoke to distract attention from the fact that Democrats are determined to force socialized medicine on this country at any expense. Want a REAL question? Ask Senators "where is the $250B for Medicare Dr's payments?". It ain't in the Senate bill, because they are still trying to backdoor this deficit buster without putting it in the reform bill where it belongs because of the unfunded cost. The REAL cost of the Senate bill is closer to $1.5T than the $850B CBO stated.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  70. Susan

    There they go again! Taxing the rich and the beautiful for the benefit of the Average American. The shame!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  71. Jim


    It's essentially a voluntary tax, affecting only those who can obviously afford it, that will bring in some much needed revenues. Sounds like a great idea to me.

    Reno, Nevada

    November 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  72. Gayle in Montana

    Hell yes... Finally a tax that I won't be paying as I am not in that demographic group. I am thankful each and every day for the wrinkles, bulges and sags I have earned in my six plus decades on this fine Earth.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  73. Harrison - Mobile, Alabama

    No, they shouldn't. And my only reason for saying that is taxing elective cosmetic surgery is even more idiotic than taxing soft drinks to pay for health care reform.

    If we're going to increase taxes on anybody, and it's obvious at this point that a tax hike is inevitable, let's find a way to do it that's reasonable, do it in a way that the average American won't get burned yet again in this already god awful economy. Repealing the Bush era tax cuts, and imposing tax increases on high end insurance plans does that.

    Taxing commonplace elective cosmetic surgery WON'T do that. In the scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal, but I'd wager that the people who would get hit the most by the tax increases would be people who are in the middle class, and they've already gotten the shaft enough times by Congress during this financial crisis.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  74. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    Anything that Robin Hood would be for so am I. Tax the rich and give to the poor, I say.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  75. Vinnie Vino


    Why not dude, the people that are having these procedures done can afford to pay more to help the country...

    Vinnie Sceravino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  76. Eric - Houston

    No Jack, but that is because I dislike any tax that singles out a group, company, industry or product, because they are an easy target, deep pockets without too many votes or are currently unpopular. I will make an exception when the product or industry is the major contributor to the problem being mitigated, such as cigarettes. But otherwise I think it is a bad policy which may come from an underlying attitude which too closely reminds me of despicable actions by past governments around the world.
    I am a purist, I think that anything the government wishes to do should be accompanied with a simple payment plan, these things are going to be cut by so much and everyones tax rates will be increased by such percent. Any restructuring of the tax system should be in a separate and distinct bill, but then of course we would have transparency and accountability and no politician really wants that.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  77. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The proposed tax on elective cosmetic procedures is totally ridiculous! In its current form, this ingenious way to expand revenue collection is basically limited to women, ignoring most of the male half of the population. I would like to see a 5% tax on erectile dysfunction drugs, hair restoration products, enlarged prostate medication, and all trial lawyers who advertise on TV asking "Have you been injured on the job or been hurt in a car accident?" . And why not put a 5% tax on Rush Limbaugh?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  78. Denis Duffy

    Sure, Jack. Maybe then Pelosi would look human. How about adding a tax on cosmetics and a ten percent tax per inch of heels in shoes. Sounds good to me!

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  79. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    Yes. Most of these procedures are not medicaly necessary but rather elective for reasons of vanity. Some of these operations are done on young teens. Kids who want to be perfect and too young to recognize the consequences. Place a tax on these ego lifters but those due to injury or natural deformity should not have to pay the penality.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  80. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    If those people can afford to have these procedures done then a small tax on them is in order. When most people can't afford to buy groceries or health insurance, then yes tax them.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  81. Annie, Atlanta

    Sure, why not. That means Hollywood would help fund healthcare. I don’t know how they feel about that, but maybe that’s the price actors should pay for their fans' inability to recognize them.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  82. chaney, La.

    We are all going to have to pay more taxes, period. If we are going to hve these entitlements some one has to pay for them....Healthcare reform is a must and If I have Botox, I am more than willing to pay extra......I just dont get it we are the whinningest bunch of people I know of.....

    November 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  83. AspenFreePress

    I don't know why not. I'm on Medicare plus supplemental health insurance and I still have to pay out of my own pocket more than $800 most months for the medications that keep me alive. Sterling Greenwood/Aspen Free Press

    November 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  84. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Do the neccessary and not the unnecessary!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  85. Jim in Alabama

    Jack, not only yes, but hell yes. Those people who choose this cosmetic surgery are usually those vain, wealthy people who can afford it because it's not usually covered by health insurance. If you want to be vain.....pay for it. Those without basic health insurance would love to have this option but they can't afford it so lets be fair.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  86. Ken in NC

    Well if we are going to be taxed to death and beyond, why not tax us to look good too. That way we will still have a choice.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  87. Samantha


    November 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  88. Spring

    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.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  89. Sue From Idaho

    You bettcha, I've had all mine done.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  90. Don Howard


    Yes, and start with Joan Rivers. That alone would be enough to substantially reduce the National Debt.

    Don Howard
    Newtown, PA

    November 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  91. Alex U

    Add the taxes to the cosmetic procedures. No one needs to get that to find a job. What a stupid excuse.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  92. Lisa, San Jose CA

    If the government wants to raise money for any purpose, the thing to do is a 0.2% tax on stock trades.
    You can imagine the howls from Wall Street, but it *would* solve the problem...

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  93. Kelly in Minneapolis

    Another vainity tax is justified. They already tax tatoos and body art. What is the difference?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  94. Sammie

    Yes! This is extra $ and a tax won't slow'em down.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  95. Stephen

    We should most definitely tax these operations; these procedures aren't life or death decisions. The term 'cosmetic' speaks for itself, these are completely optional procedures for people who feel that they need to improve themselves in some way. If they don't want to pay taxes on liposuction, then they can lose weight for free by exercise and healthy eating...

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  96. Alex

    The plastic surgery tax is a gimmick. It may bring in $6 billion, but when you are spending over $1 trillion, it still doesn't add up.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  97. James

    Why not? They tax cigarettes and alcohol, which are "elective" vices, why not boob jobs too? Few women need breast enhancement, but if they choose it, tax them., just like I'm taxed because I choose to smoke.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  98. Nyd

    Jack: Im glad I got my boobs done last year! Even though I support Health Care Reform, this should not be the way to go.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  99. Ivan Dominguez

    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.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  100. Joan Mazur

    I think it's a wonderful idea!!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  101. Pascal

    Yes, of course they should. They should have done for years. God damn Americans are terrified of actually paying for something useful. Your tax phobia is going to leave you with a wasteland full of dying destitute sick people.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  102. Kristin, Danville, CA

    Sure, why not? Most cosmetic surgery is just that, cosmetic. It's similar to buying a tube of lipstick and that's taxed. Why not a lip augmentation?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  103. James Johnson

    Yes Jack,

    Nip and Tuck those Bucks

    Virginia Beach

    November 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  104. Joe Camel

    Now they know how smokers feel. I'm glad Congress found a different target to tax...at least for the time being.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  105. Bill Hudson

    I would say it's absurd to target certain people for tax and they shouldn't do that, but being a smoker and targeted myself, I have say go get em. Maybe if they keep targeting like this they will eventually get everybody.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  106. Danny

    Why not? If you can afford cosmetic surgury, 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.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  107. Pamela

    Hell yes!! Tax it. With the middle class shrinking and health care costs the culprit, I can't think of a more immediate way to close the gap. Think of it as a luxury tax.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  108. Ted in Minnesota

    Yes. I'm totally in favor of taxing anything that I don't use or need!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  109. jane cooper

    No, the government should not tax cosmetic surgery. Actually, no additional taxes are needed to "pay for reform".

    There are billions of dollars to be saved on all elective healthcare procedures (diagnostic, etc.) if consumers choose providers based on the cost and quality of their healthcare services. Healthcare is the only thing that we buy without asking what it costs.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  110. Phyllis

    Absolutely, the operative word being Elective!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  111. Tony

    The government taxes cigarrete's more than other things to pay for healthcare. So why not cosmetic surgery????

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  112. Sandy

    Absolutely! In most cases botox and tummy tucks etc are elective procedures and are mostly done to enhance the beauty of oneself. I think this is a great way for the government to collect funds to help pay for healthcare reform. These are mostly done by persons who have the money to pay for them, so why not. It's not like they would loose bread and milk money for their famililes.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  113. Dolores Surprise AZ

    Jack, this is a great idea. If they can afford "elective" cosmetic surgery or botox injections, then they can afford the 5% tax. Also about the comment that women are trying to look better to look for jobs. How beautiful or how sexy you are, shouldn't be the deciding factor in whether you get a job or not. What about QUALIFICATIONS....Just a thought...

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  114. bob

    Yes most definitely. Anyone that can afford to have cosmetic procedures not a result of an injury for deformity should pay this tax and should be 15 percent or more.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  115. Jacque D (Oregon)

    YES, YES, YES. This obsession with appearance and overuse of plastic surgery has gone to such extremes that ordinary looking people are becoming frowned on in almost the same way as overweight people. What happened to accepting what God gave you? Plastic surgery should be mainly for reconstruction due to damage or deformity.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  116. Taryn

    I believe that a tax on elective cosmetic procedures is a brilliant idea. Why don't they take it a step further and put a 5% luxury tax on jewelry and cosmetics as well? If a person is able to afford such things, then they can afford to help the poor.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  117. Jay

    The government doesn't worry about anything or anyone unless it stands to gain something for itself.. period

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  118. Nicole Poore

    We should tax cosmetic procedures, we already tax liquor, cigarettes, and junk food for much the same reason. Why block another "self indulgence tax" when we clearly need money?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  119. Ed Lexington, KY


    Yes they should.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  120. George

    Yes cosmetic ( the emphasis on COSMETIC) surgeries should be taxed .... what's wrong with aging naturally.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  121. Dwight

    Yes absolutely!!!!! Then legalize weed, tax it heavily eliminating the deficit and pay for all health care......

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  122. annakathrine

    Botox should be taxed only when viagra is taxed

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  123. Brian Harrington

    I have never seen a need for botox product in society, a tax on this product is something I fully back.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  124. Gail

    Yes, we have to pay a tax to drink, smoke and dress so why not tax unnecessary cosmetic procedures.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  125. Joel in Wisconsin

    If it's necessary to raise the ranking of our life expectancy to that of Europe & Canada (light-years ahead of ours!!!) so be it!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  126. andrew

    I'm for taxing cosmetic surgery . If you have the money to throw away on Botox you have the extra money to pay tax on it .

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  127. Rick from Ct

    Oh yes I agree that is a good idea if you got money for that crap you should have to pay higher taxes for it, theres no problem when they tax smokers to death.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  128. Ben, Ontario Canada

    Why? why not just take some of that money from defense spending? the US spend smore on defense than any other country. So why not take the $$$ from that instead of taxing the people to death? Seems logical to me, i doubt Botox taxes will make up the dough.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  129. Lee from California

    Jack, why not? If a person chooses to shop at Wal-Mart or Nordstrom's, they still have to pay a tax on items purchased. Elective cosmetic surgery is nothing more than a choice and a service to be provided–have your surgery and pay the tax–5% is less than what we pay when we buy food at the store!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  130. sher

    How about taxing mens Viagra?

    Now THAT would be a windfall in revenue!!!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  131. C.E. Family - Austin, TX


    They should tax religious organizations, like "The Family". I use to live in Oklahoma where there were churches on every corner and next to and across from each other, and as far as I could tell here were not helping the poor. Pastors were sporting designer this or that and driving expensive luxury cars.

    Exactly why are they not taxed?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  132. A.B.

    It's about time! I mean, if you really want to lose weight, try a diet and exercise regimen. And maybe this will make people think about if they really need to look 20 years younger, or if they want to maybe pay off their morgatge or credit card debt.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  133. EugeneWiese

    Hell Yes.,anyone who can afford that kind of surgery can pay the price. Gene

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  134. Lawrence Davis

    In the real world, cosmetic surgery is not a positive thing; a superficial procedure, as opposed to healthy solutions (eating well, exercise, etc.) and seems like a perfect place to tax and support true health care.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  135. Ray L

    We didn't this this coming when Obama won, new taxes. Get used to it for the next 4 years, and maybe 8.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  136. Sharyl Inlow

    Why not tax the botox set? That is a "luxury item" which can help support improving life-saving coverage for citizens in great need throughout the country – call it "Patriotic Duty" charge if you want!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  137. Fred Tondalo

    Jack: of course its ok to tax rich vain people who obviously have nothing more to do with their money except try to stave off death and aging.

    I never met a poor person with breast implants, face lifts, or tummy tucks. Actually when i was a nurse for 10 years I did see allot of poor people who needed basic medical care earlier but I was caring for them on a surgical ward because they couldn't get care until they were almost dead from a condition that if treated earlier would have been a cheaper and healthier fix for the patient.

    Since when do we care about how much rich people have to pay for their excesses!?? Grow up America! If you want to call yourselves Christians then start to act like it! Remember this teaching?...."Whatsoever you do to THE LEAST of mine...you have done it to ME!"

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  138. Jad

    We pay a luxury tax on cars, boats and other expensive items already. I agree with an addition tax on elective cosmetic surgery to help pay for a health care plan that could benefit those who can not afford it. If people have the money for a $10,000 elective cosmetic surgery, I'm sure they can afford an addition tax on the procedure.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  139. Dan from Santa Barbara, Ca

    PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK! We are standing at the edge of the greatest social need of our time and people want to derail that so they can save 5% on their butt lift surgery? How petty! If they can tax cigarettes, alcohol, gas, and people actually vote to enact those taxes then I say there is absolutely nothing wrong with taxing botox procedures! You're right Jack. If you're unemployed or making minnimum wage you won't miss teeth whitening (if you still HAVE your teeth) but you will miss affordable health care!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  140. Lesley

    Yes to a tax on cosmetic procedures.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  141. Mike

    Yes there should be a tax on Botox. Despite what individuals who make money off treatments in that area say, it is a service designed and priced for the wealthy and would not have a negative effect on the middle class. I also find surgeries like this to be unnatural and disgusting in some cases, so to me, putting a tax on it is just like putting one on sodas; A healthy incentive.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  142. Russ in Colorado

    No. These elective procedures have nothing to do with healthcare. 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.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  143. Jim Bergen

    Botax? Why not? Other unnecessary items – tobacco, liquor, gas-guzzling cars – are taxed, and these procedures fall in the same category. These tax revenues will go to something truly useful.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  144. Ferry

    LUCKY you American, here in Canada a bunch of morons decides what to do and they just do it, No discussions, that's it finito!. Hey they just hamonized our taxes, that means we get to pay double taxes for everything

    November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  145. elena

    Today Botox tomorrow breast reconstruction after some poor soul has had breast cancer. This goverment is OUT OF CONTROL !! All they do is try to crawl into our pockets to see what they can squeeze out of us.
    Hell all they have to do is tax Nancy Frozen Face Pelosis' Botox treatments and we'll be all set ! I can't wait to be rid of this crew.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  146. dave opasik

    I feel the tax for elective surgical procedures is a good one. It would help the needy get medical help while allowing vanity to run amok.
    While we're at it let's tax gambling and booze and smoking both tobacco and other stuff. Make pot legal and tax it. Tax bullets, bombs and vaccines too.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  147. Sandra

    Taxing comestic surgery and botox injections is right on the money as a way to raise revenue.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  148. zain

    This is a great idea. Why didn't anyone think of this before? If you can afford to get liposuction instead of a pair of runniing shoes, especially in this turbulent economy, then I'm sure you can afford a 5% increase for cosmetic surgery. And by the way, no, this does not constitute a tax increase on middle and lower class americans. These are elective procedures with perfectly acceptable substitutes like floss, and coming to terms with age.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  149. Jack Blackstone, M.D.

    It's a tax that will alter behavior. Whether intended or not, it's social engineering.
    The media needs to point out the fallacy of the fiscal issues on healthcare...Starting taxes now but starting the actual programs 4 years later...It's a deficit buster and needs to be seen as such.
    We need to be more selective and targeted on attacking this necessary issue.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  150. Lasrry Delong

    I think it's great. It's about time that they pick on people other than us cigarette smokers. We have been bearing taxes without having any say for a long time. If they do it I can say the next time I pick up my $8 pack of smokes that I'm not the only one thats paying extra for the health bill.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  151. Catharina Summers

    Come on now cosmetic surgery is a frivalous expenditure. Would those individuals seeking these cosmetic updates raise such a stink if the practioners providing these services raised their fees by five percent? Probably not, but if the money is going to help provide health care for their fellow Americans and this apparently is not to their liking. How shallow!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  152. Vivien from NY

    YES Tax those rich republican womens botox ! As a woman who can't afford it anyway- I will just look more glamorous now standing next to em. But please don't tax my chocolate.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  153. Esther Massillon Ohio

    No I think if we want to tax anything it should be Religion. Tax the money that comes into the church. Christianity is a big money maker even more than plastic surgery. Separation of Church and State doesn't mean Churches get a free ride.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  154. Lawrence Davis

    The reality is that cosmetic surgery is superficial, and most often contrary to healthy solutions such as eating well, exercise, etc. It's a perfect place to tax (5% is not going to keep anyone from doing it) to support true health care.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  155. Mary

    Yes, they should be taxed for those procedures that are technically unnecessary. People who do those type of procedures already have the money to do it, so a 5% tax isn't much to them. One thing people seem to forget is how the cost of everything went up after Bush's tax decreases. You had less Fed. tax to pay, but your gas, groceries, home repairs, etc. all sky rocketed. So Bush raised everyone's taxes behind everyone's back. The fact that they are trying to pay for healthcare for all by taxing luxury items is not a bad thing. Most middle Americans don't get botox injections!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  156. Sue in LA

    With all the new taxes they are adding to pay for this Healthcare bill, it should be FREE for everyone! When does the tax and spend ever end? The more they tax, the more they spend and they accuse us of living beyond our means.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  157. Jerry

    Go ahead and tax unnecessary surgery, but not "restorative" surgery. When my 18 year old daughter had her left eye-lid removed due to skin cancer (after avoiding both sun-bathing and tanning beds) our insurance company didn't want to pay for the restoration of her eye-lid. Anyone worried about a cruel beauracracy in the future needn't; it's here now, thanks to the cash cow insurance companies that the Republicans are tending like milk-maids.
    And tax soda, too. Selling un-nutritious foods is crueler to the poor than taxing it.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  158. Karen from Scottsdale

    Taxing elective cosmetic procedures is an utterly ridiculous solution. I belive 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 healthcare costs in this country. Why not impose a tax on these items and attempt to limit their consumption???

    November 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  159. Steve S.

    If they want to tax us for trying to look good, they in turn should pay us to stay ugly.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  160. Kyle Burton

    If it is something you don't need to live a quality life, then tax it!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  161. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    They should not pay for any cosmetic surgery – period.
    if people want to try and beat father time or make themselves into something that they are not let them pay for it out of their own pocket.
    I think that's the way many of the european countries handle it

    On the other hand – if the procedure involves things like fixing a childs cleff lip or some other malformation at birth I don't have a problem with that. if it improves a childs quality of life that's cool with me

    It's the "hollywood housewives" trying to stay 25 that I object to. Botox and all.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  162. Bill -- Seattle

    Absolutely. Non-medically necessary cosmetic procedures should be taxed, particularly if they have no medical value, like botox. At the same time, if a cosmetic surgery is medically necessary for a person's overall health, the probably should not be taxed.

    A vial of botox can cost $1,000, and I've never heard one instance of botulism being injected into someone's body that was medically necessary. It's a medical luxury, particularly in this economy.

    This luxury translates to about a $50 premium for someone with an extra $1,000 to make themselves look younger. The benefit: more Americans get health care coverage. This is a totally reasonable trade off.

    I live in Washington State, where we pay extra taxes on cigarettes to help pay for health care. Look, if you don't want to pay the extra taxes, then don't smoke and don't get botox.

    Remember, these procedures are elective for people and do not make them healthier. If a person has the sort of expendable income to get superfluous medical treatment, then they should pay at least 5% surcharge to help pay for health care.

    Go get 'em, Harry!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  163. Anthony, Wash DC

    Yes. One of the reasons for our shortage of general practice doctors is that some number doctors are being lured to elective care practices because they are far less demanding and far more profitable. Waiting several weeks to see a cosmetic surgeon should be the norm, not waiting several weeks to see your general practitioner. If we tax cosmetic surgery and use that money to insure more people and guide more doctors towards general practice I am more for it. At the end of the day we have to figure out how to insure as many Americans as possible, this is a moral issue, if we have to dig into other areas of a less critical nature to make that happen I am all for it.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  164. Gail

    We pay tax on alcohol, tobacco and clothing. We don't need the alcohol and tobacco and we don't need cosmetic surgery so yes, tax it.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  165. Ron from Ardmore, Oklahoma

    Absolutely. We keep hearing that there is a shortage of doctors. More and more are opting to specialize into the vanity niches because those patients will pay any amount to look younger. We need more General Practitioners and fewer vanity specialists. Raising the costs MIGHT reduce the number of unnecessary procedures, and therefore less demand for the specialists. Let's focus on real healthcare that will make our country a healthier country. Being a bankrupt country of beautiful Barbie and Ken dolls will serve nobody in the long run.


    November 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  166. Diane Kelsey--Las Vegas

    Maybe we have been in Iraq & Afganistan way too long!! Are we adopting their laws against women? Limited mammographies–minimum pap smears–and now taxed cosmetic procedures. Funny, I don't hear anything about the men's procedures– how about hair transplants–PSA's prostate exams–and viagra and male enhancement drugs????

    November 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  167. Bill Thwaites

    How come we suffer such anguish over health care costs, when we increase military expenditures that much with no more angst than paying $400 for Boardwalk or Park Place?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  168. Justin

    To quote a founding father, "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those you would not." Thomas Jefferson, 1802

    To all of you freeloading, whiny, lazy good for nothing parasites who believe taxing people who actually work and make some money, get off your lazy fat rear ends and get a job. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and that doubly goes for free health care!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  169. Robert in Atlanta

    I don't think most of the Hollywood types will have a problem paying a tax on their cosmetic surgery. Most are democrats anyway, and vote for the party that loves to increase taxes. It should make them feel extra patriotic!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  170. Marge in New Port Richey, Florida

    Absolutely. Anyone who can afford those procedures should have no problem paying another 5%. And if they do, too bad. They don't hesitate to pay for these expenses, all in pursuit of looking better or younger. And anyway, they should be penalized for their inappropriate focus...they're consumed with how they look rather than improving what they are made of inside. They're all so narcissistic, it's disgusting.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  171. Paul Hatfield

    Jack, why are we even discussing paying for health care reform like it will actually EVER happen? Too many deep pockets in DC get filled by the insurance companies for there to be meaningful reform. Lets face the cold hard fact that Pres. Obama was elected w/the hope of change, but we all forgot about the House and Senate...the more things change, the more they stay JUST the same!
    Paul H.
    Midland TX

    November 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  172. bill, athens,ga

    HELL YES!!!
    we can tax fuel, entertainment, beverage, and "sin" , but somehow VANITY is the taboo line we dare not cross?
    take a look in the mirror; america, we look better WITHOUT the vanity .
    as to those who cant see this reflection ???
    they're the one's who have been sucking us dry for years.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  173. indianasteve

    How about a 100% tax on campaign contributions? that is, if BigPharma wants to drop $10 million in 'campaign contributions' they must also deposit $10 million in the Treasury. All this proposal will do is deliver about $10 million in campaign contributions to some Congressional scum and then it will be withdrawn.
    Everything else is in this bill; might as well add a little campaign finance reform.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  174. Jerry Leavitt

    I think that taxing elective cosmetic surgery is an excellent idea. The prices people are willing to pay a cosmetic surgeon are so high that a 5% tax is a negligent amount in comparison, and will not deter those to whom their appearence is so important. That 5% can make the difference between life and death for someone who cannot afford life saving surgery.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  175. Keith

    Absolutely!!! These high cost procedures will bring in much need revenue, especially in california.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  176. Marina K.

    Definitely tax unnecessary cosmetic procedures and add hair transplants to that. How do people expect to lower deficit without raising taxes, lowering spending is not enough. Now when I wait in carpool lane in my daughters school, the mothers will have a natural surprised look.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  177. Geoff

    I welcome the proposed tax on unnecessary, purely cosmetic procedures. In fact, I think it should have been a figure closer to 25%. A tax rate that high might encourage people to look in the mirror, do a reality check, and learn to be happy with who they are. Ours is a disgustingly vain culture, and I welcome any social policy that has the potential to rectify our superficial perspective on our self image.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  178. Jeff in FL

    All that will do is lower the amount of procedures done in the US. People will just go to south america to have them done. If they do want to enact this tax they should back date the effective date so that the revenue from Nancy Pelosi's work alone can cover our deficit!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  179. nancy

    If they are going to tax cosmetic procedures they need to tax teeth whitening & straightening products and procedures because that falls under cosmetic dentistry.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  180. Chris Walker

    Great Idea. They should make it 20%. Here's a tax even Republicans should be able to get behind. They're always complaining about Hollywood types, why not make them pay for health care?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  181. Jonathan

    Absolutely not. If democrats start taxing cosmestic surgeries, what is next? How about circumcisions of the babies at birth? Cosmetic too.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  182. jane

    It's not always the rich who have Botox treatments, face lifts,etc. When so many people appling for a job, some people consider this as an evestment. You know as well as I do, that looks and age have a lot to do with people are applying for a job. Would you hire a prune faced woman or a woman who has nice unlined skin. A lot of plastic surgeons are havivg a decrease in comestic surgery and if a tax is imposed the plastic surgeons will be hurting a lot more....not everyone who has plastic surgery is hollywood. Ask your staff (ESP. WOMEN) IF THEY HAD ANY ENHANCEMENT SURGERY DONE.I look at some of your female staff and they either have a great makeup person or have had botox treatments.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  183. Joseph Poliakon

    First Obama’s “Change Agents” ratchet up breast cancer testing for women, from 40 to 50 years old, to save the Uncle Sam a buck at the expense of women. Then Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid puts a $6,000,000,000 tax on the breasts, faces, and tummy tucks of women. Obama's "Change Team" is also planning to ration Pap Smears under their Socialized Medicine Plan. It looks like the Democrats are trying to institutionalize misogyny as the new policy of the Democrat lead U.S. Government.?

    Space Coast, FL

    November 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  184. Antoine in Plant City, FL

    Tax 'em, Jack. If people still have the cash to burn on these procedures and the gall to get them, then they deserve it. Don't stop there- tax hair and breast implants and ED and "enlargement" drugs, too! With kids commiting suicide over body image, our society needs to learn a bit more self-confidence in this day and age. And I don't follow the industry's claim of an unfair tax on women considering that the woman is not always fitting the bill. I'm just sayin'.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  185. Patrick Ferlise

    More "fringe" added to the healthcare bill. Politicians can fluff this idea about a 5% tax hike on plastic surgery about how it will "help" ease the stimulus and how it's a "patriotic duty" to pay taxes. Well what if it's not a necessity tax?? This can potentially bring down the desirability of different kinds of surgeries that this tax would be added to. 5% is a lot to add to the flat cost of something. The tax could also potentially put doctors and practices out of business due to the cost hike being added. This creates a domino effect that not only puts doctors out of business but also puts nurses and other jobs related to this type of work from proceding. We as Americans can call plastic surgeons who drive a nice car the "bad guys" or the "stingy guys who make a lot of money and don't share". But what about the jobs these practices provide? Same with large multi-million dollar companies, they supply jobs to hard-working Americans who can support their families. We see a social wellfare pyramid throughout every economic system whether it be socialism, communism, capitalism, marxism, dictatorships, monarchies, and democracies. There is no escaping the fact that we will always have an upper, middle, and lower class in our society. But there's one thing we all have in common- we are AMERICANS. The pyramid provides jobs from everyone willing to work, we will always have corruption and some of us will probably always have our grudges for the upper-class. But just remember it takes everyone to create this country's wealth and prosperity. Not just the middle class. I'm not excusing corruption, it is wrong and unjust. But I think punishing people for stimulating the economy is morally wrong. I say no tax hike.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  186. KG, Twin Cities, MN

    Botox is not just for cosmetic reasons. MS sufferes get injections to help alleiviate muscle stiffness and spasms. This being said, if botax is derived from this type of botox procedure, then no. With MS medications running about $1800 a mo without insurance and fairly frequent MRIs required, it would be an insurmountable amount of money.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  187. Julie in Dallas

    No! Government should stay out of health care altogether. They can't solve their own internal problems much less improve our lives. This administration is destroying the American way of life and the best health care system in the world.
    All those that want to take from the rich to give to the poor should consider moving to Russia rather than destroying the US with socialism. If you don't like capitalism – MOVE.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  188. Brian


    I don't know about the Hollywood Elite, but you should have to pay me 5 percent of your salary for making me look at that picture of the woman with the needle in her eye.

    Boise, ID

    November 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  189. David, Tampa, Fl

    " You betcha" Cafferty. Vanity is the number one reason for cosmetic surgery. Most of this crap is paid for by insurance coverage and "little white lies" to insurance companies told by Plastic surgeons to increase the bottom line of their practice. The poor and the ever shrinking middle class can't afford out of pocket expenses for this kind of stuff and it isn't covered, or soon will not be covered, by employer paid insurance. Two groups I do not feel sorry for anymore are rich, hedonistic narcissists that whine about the cost of their lives going up too much and those that feed off their delusions.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  190. Scott in San Diego, CA

    California could impose a 10% tax on these procedures and we would be sure to come out of bankruptcy and all the Hollywood Liberals who love taxes could pay for it. As much as I would love that idea, NO, it isn't right to tax someones choice to look better to use thatmoney to pay for someone who has made the choice NOT to be responsible for themselves and their family. Everyone should pay for their OWN health care coverage.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  191. Dan in Capitola

    Make cigarettes cost $15 a pack instead and use that money to balance out the crushing burden smokers put on our health care system.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  192. Jamie Maxwell

    I am all for taxing this luxary. These are un-needed procedures for people to feel good about themselves. If a woman feels that they didn't get a job that they were qualified for due to not being pretty enough, it sounds like maybe they should contact the labor department in regards to discrimination. As for the theory that this would be a way of taxing people that make less that $250k per year, nobody seems to care when they want to raise taxes on tobacco and alcohol.
    Sandy, Ut

    November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  193. frankie

    I think that is a good idea. Our economy needs to be based in reality, not in making sure we can all get facelifts for cosmetic reasons. It is sensible to tax luxuries when some kids don't have enough to eat and some families live in their cars if they have a car.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  194. Cyndi

    Sure, Jack. Most insurances don't cover cosmetic procedures anyway. What's an extra 5%? If you can afford the procedure, you can afford the tax.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  195. Louise

    No!!! The people who should pay extra are those who are obese and those who smoke (or ever smoked). They are the patients who are driving up health care costs. Not the healthy people who exercize, eat right, and save money for elective health procedures. Those who make poor choices and decisions should pay the consequential price.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  196. Amy

    Absolutely. The system is so out of balance that there are people dying in our country every day because they can't afford any health insurance at all while these dopes are complaining about a 5% tax on cosmetic procedures. I mean, is 5% more going to kill them? Wouldn't they be happy to feel a little less vain if they know that part of the money they're spending is going to the needy? It seems like people are so selfish and don't care to know the truth about how their fellow Americans are suffering because of the societal imbalance that was nurtured over the last decade.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  197. Seebofubar

    Absolutly not. Why should any tax pay for healthcare? Healthcare is between an individual, his doctor and insurer. The government has no right to get involved with funding healthcare. Where the government should get involved is in stoping unfair practices by insurers and working twards a more efficient system. Unfortunatly efficient and government don't belong in the same sentence.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  198. victorbarnes

    Why ought any hard working person pay for anyone else, lazy or not? You want money and health insurance, et cetera? Go to college you bum, get a job you are passionate about and make money. Support your family and the like, why in the sam hell would I support yours? if one would like what one doesn't have, compete and get it or move to another country which offers it. Seriously, see how good you have it elsewhere. keep this socialist gov't out of my pocket. I didn't bust my behind to get where I am to help anyone but myself...charity starts at home. And i certainly do not recall anyone helping me, hence the 100k in student loans...which Obama isn't helping with either. Morons.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  199. Becky

    Absolutely not! Why should I have to pay the government 5% or anything for that matter to look good? Taxation without representation!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  200. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    I've been wondering just which Senate Democrats came up with this idea. I had to check my calendar to make sure that it wasn't April 1st but since it isn't, I must say good-bye and return to the planet Earth.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  201. Paul

    This is a GREAT idea! There's no reason we should live in a country where one person can afford to get a facelift and another cannot afford to survive!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  202. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    We seem to have forgotten what insurance is. It is a process of pooling our money to care for others who suffer from out of the ordinary expenses. Today, if you have a better than average chance of needing medical care or if you live in an area with a better than average chance of having a flood, you can’t get insurance. But if you want larger breasts, better lips, hair plugs or Viagra, it’s paid for.
    We need to define what is included as Health Care and let those with elective procedures pay their own way.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  203. Linda O'Neill

    I don't think they realize how many Cerebral Palsy children receive botox to help them out. Do they need to be taxed also?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  204. Share Hawkins

    WHy not? My co-worker had a tummy tuck and lypo after gastric bypass – all on the Veteran's Administration tab. Where is the justice in that?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  205. Susan Sell

    Absolutely! Think of it as a "Vanity Tax". If people can afford to have the surgery, they can afford to pay the tax and be grateful they are making enought money to do it.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  206. dan

    we already tax the choice of alcohol and cigeretts. we should tax the excentric lifestyles of excess as well...

    November 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  207. G McKinney

    Its the economy STUPID put everything on hold until we stop the bleeding of job loss and people can start getting jobs back so they can pay income taxes.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  208. drew

    Yes, it is true that those who can afford plasitc surgery may be able to pay more taxes, but that is not the point.....where does it all stop? The next thing the Govt. will say is if you can afford to buy lunch then you need to pay more taxes....then if you can afford to buy gas.....then if you can afford to buy clothes.....I have a great idea. All those who think THEY are paying too LITTLE in taxes send the Govt. a big check above and beyond what you owe.....the Govt. will take whatever you give to them.....so, no excuses.....send ALL your money to the Govt......Especially Mary above.....oh, no, we would never do that. Funny how big-time liberals who want everyone else to pay more are the cheapest and give the least to charity......funny......

    November 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  209. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    You got to be kidding me. The airlines charge for extra carry on baggage and now people who use botox are going to be taxed for not carrying their own baggage.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  210. Don from Rockford

    Health insurance should be used only for health related issues. Any time money is paid out of the health insurance fund, it has to be replaced in the form of higher premiums. Lets call it a vanity tax which is what it is.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  211. Linda in Arizona


    November 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  212. Charly

    Tax them. We need doctors to work on real surgeries, and real patient care – not the Michael Jackson's of the world. Then, maybe we can have more general practitioners to take care of the rest of us and real health care instead of over-priced care for the elite few.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  213. June

    Great idea!!
    We should also tax people that use too much toilet paper. It is a waste after all!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  214. Mike from Springfield

    The core problem goes well beyond healthcare reform. Over the past 20 years, we have added more and more programs to give money to people out of a misguided idea of "helping", and created more and more exemptions to keep people from paying taxes. The end result is that we have continually added to the number of people who receive from the government, all the while shrinking the pool of people who pay in. Is it fair that a person who works hard and achieves success it penalized to a greater degree, just because it is easier to take money from them? If you work 2 jobs to make $30,000 a year, you might be working hard, but you are certainly not working smart. Why should I be penalized because you could not be bothered to try to make something more of yourself? My parents came to this country in the 50's with nothing, and asked for nothing. No one in my family needs the government to help us, we can provide for ourselves. Why should I pay for someone who cant be bothered to actually apply themselves, or demonstrate a little drive and ambition?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  215. Linda in Arizona

    I take that back. Yes, they should. Elective cosmetic procedures are for rich people. Tax the hell out of them.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  216. Kurt

    Taxing sugared drinks to fund health care reform was kicked around recently, but set aside for reasons unknown to me. I'm not sure why taxing elective cosmetic procedures should be any more acceptable.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  217. Matt in Indy

    Of course they should start taxing poor health choices. Elective, but not corrective, surgery should be taxed. 5% is reasonable. Face it, the people that want a nose job or a breast augmentation are going to get it regardless of a 5% increase or decrease in price.

    Heck,Put a 1 cent tax on every "soda" drink sold. No one would ever, EVER, notice that besides Pepsi and Coke.

    New taxes are needed, people. You can't just expect new, and very needed, programs to manifest themselves out of thin air.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  218. Kathleen

    Obama is Robin Hood and everyone knows rich people are bad so tax them. What is this country coming to?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  219. Greg D

    Anyone who would seriously support this must be a blind obedient democrat! I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why some people think the "haves" should support the "have nots". Why is it we should work our butt of and pay welfare to lazy people who prefer to live off others hard work? GET A JOB! I got two, you can't get one??

    November 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  220. Sarah, Philadelphia

    The government has already placed high taxes on cigarettes, alcohol sales, and other free-will activities. Why not on elective cosmetic surgery? You'll still be electing to pay the tax, it won't be imposed on you if you don't get the surgery.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  221. Chryssa

    Eh, sure, why not? As long as they can be sure people like burn victims and mastectomy patients don't have to pay the tax for their reconstructive procedures.

    Boise, ID

    November 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  222. Mike in NJ

    They can tax cosmetic procedures all they want, it won't make a difference. Either people will not have the procedure or they will go outside the country to have it done. When will Congress learn that luxury taxes rarely work. The rich or vain will find a way around it. Remember the tax on diesel trucks that almost ruined the industry because everyone just stopped buying them. Congress has about as much hindsight as a blind bat.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  223. Kate

    Not unless they are also taxing large screen tvs and sports cars. This overwhelmingly affects women. But better than any of these taxes would of course be a tax on processed foods as the people eat that junk are a big part of the health problem in this country. They should pay more. And of course, the best untapped source of all: RELIGION. It's big business and criminal that it is not taxed.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  224. steve in virginia

    Maybe they should tax everyone who thinks raising any taxes is a good idea and leave the rest of us alone. We could have a referendum and tell everyone who intends to vote yes for any tax increase to bring their checkbook.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  225. Jessica in Juneau,AK

    Absolutely! I think this has to be one of the most splendid idea ever.. For starters it would force Americans to prioritize differently.. Is vanity worth the price!? If you’re willing to alter or even enhance your appearance then a tax should be applied. We as a society already emphasize so heavily on our appearance and as a result many are challenged with low self esteem and body imagine issues .

    Perhaps this could be a catalysis redirecting our perception of beauty and instead of the 16 yr old girl wanting a ‘boob job’ for her birthday.. Just maybe a study abroad might be on the list!?

    It just makes you wonder why this hasn’t been implemented in the past?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  226. Michelle

    To quote Gandhi:

    "The Rich must live more simply so that the Poor may simply live."

    November 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  227. vegas

    No, there shouldn't be any type of tax on these elective procedures. This is just ridiculous. How about no health care reform...

    November 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  228. dan

    flat tax my ass. give me a credit rateing card and if i have no money allow me to pay less. if i am rich i should pay full price for my goods. i know that sounds unfair, but right now we have the opposite and it does not work. if you have less money you pay more for your house your car all of it through interest rates. if you are rich and should pay full price your buddy the ceo of countrywide gives you a cut throat deal on your home loan and then we wonder why we need to overcharge middle class america.. we have too many sweetheart deals for rich people. do they even have to buy their own food any more????
    if you can pay, pay!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  229. Nance Lee

    Sure, why not? If I can afford a non essential service to make me feel prettier, I can afford to pay tax on it.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  230. Monica Selby

    We shouldn't even be having this debate because the government should never run healthcare. The governments purpose is to uphold the constitution, not to steal our money to decide how they want to spend it. Maybe they should all receive pay cuts and have to use this insurance and then see if they still like it and can come up with the money that way to pay for it. Or better yet, how about the lobbyist stealing our money for their special interest groups pay for it. It is unconstitutional what our government has evolved into over the past 10-20 years and I hope TRUE AMERICANS will rise up and say enough. People get educated and stand up for your freedoms and rights before the government goes so far that we can't stop them!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  231. Chad from Los Angeles

    I am still laughing at that argument that women need botox to get a job!!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  232. David

    Why not tax abortions?

    Certainly more of those happening. May help curb the birth rate..Isn't that taxes do...curb habits?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  233. Keith from Wisconsin

    A report I read yesterday said 33% of medical expenses in the next decade will be due to obesity!!!
    So they should tax "pre-existing" conditions (that are bad for you) like obese, smoker etc with increased premiums. This would in fact financially incentivise the US population to get healthier. Maybe then the "rules" panels will not try and restrict things like mamograms and pap tests.

    The health care bill could not meet the taget 'campaign lie' so they shell game 6 years coverage for 10 years payment (66%hidden costs), $200B 'extra' for AMA bribe adds another 20% and we shall see shortly how much they will dump onto the states (Oh and pay for seperatly with state bail outs). Looks like the $2.5T pricetag bottom line is pretty accurate. Se supueta on the fall of America.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  234. David M. Jackson

    It doesn't matter who or what they tax in effort to fund healthcare.
    The end result from the pens of our political leaders will still be mandatory healthcare insurance that will make criminals out of those of us who remain unable to afford it. They have made that clear every step of this process so far.

    Unless we completely tear down the systems in place today and come up with complete reform, the corporations will continue to buy the favors of our politicians and create only more of the same self-serving business models that have been inflating the cost to all of us for decades.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  235. Brian

    They should not tax botox. Here is a different reason: Botox has a medical use. It's used for temporary muscle destruction. It's used to treat many conditions, one being a rare condition called Blepharospasm. Botox is one of the only effective treatments for this condition. If Botox cosmetic is taxed, that may drive up the price for the medically necessary use of it unnecessarily. We need to find a better way to handle healthcare!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  236. Maria

    I think a tax on purely cosmetic procedures is fine. Any tax on reconstructive surgery should not even be considered.



    November 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  237. andy

    If people would read this tax and spend bill they would realize it mentions over 130 new taxes in it. It just further taxes working people to pay for more free govt handouts.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  238. Pauly, NV


    Elective cosmetic procedures should absolutely be taxed, except in cases of reconstructive surgery due to injury or illness. The same way it is at the grocery store: potato chips are taxed but fresh fruit and vegatables are not.

    The trick is determining when doctor go overboard in determining the medical "necessity" of botox. The system could be as easily abused as readily as some California doctors are prescribing medical marijuana.

    We can add Tort reform to this issue as well. Put a cap on malpractice awards for elective cosmetic procedures. We currently try to get tobacco addicts off of smoking by taxing the hell out of it. Why not put our money where our mouth is with these vain MEN AND WOMEN who frequently need a nip or a tuck or a lift or pouty lips? Let them assume the risks both by paying taxes AND by taking the physical and financial risk of these elective procedures.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  239. Auggie Alfred

    For the most part plastic surgery is a luxury not a necessity. And before anyone jumps on me saying different, be realistic with your argument. Accidents, deformity are reasons for surgery, I'm sixty and done look thirty are not! Breast implants to boost your self-esteem, OK, breast implants because of cancer, OK. Why shouldn't you be charged extra for ELECTIVE cosmetic surgeries. NO insurance company should pick up a single dime for such procedures but they do. So why don't insurance companies pay for my new tattoo and I'll pay the deductible. It seems to me the only people who really stand to lose are the doctors. And believe me plastic surgeons are a dime a dozen. A true surgeons who practice real medicine in the field is looking to better mankind not better his bank account. And if that is not the case then they are no better than the career politician that are more worried about their political future than the future of our country.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  240. Stacey

    I have a better suggestion. Let's tax the fat lazy people in the country who believe in spreading the wealth around. The fatter you are, the more tax you pay. The tax will motivate the fat people to get off their big butts, get a job, and lose weight. No more sitting on the couch all day complaining about who owes them what. We will all be healthier and the cost of healthcare will decrease. Also, the majority of people who elect to have cosmetic surgery are not "wealthy", but are middle or lower class. Another broken promise from Obama not to tax the middle class to pay for the so-called healthcare reform.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  241. pat

    no they should not tax those ego procedures they should not have them as a covered procedure in the first place!
    Why should we cover a trophy wife trying to keep her boobs from sagging. let her sugar daddy pay the bill. he bought her he pays for her.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  242. Katie B in Raleigh, NC

    Yes, Jack, we should tax it. It's just another "sin" tax that we as a nation have largely approved of. If smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are considered sins, then Vanity - one of the so-called Seven Deadly Sins - ranks even higher on the OK-to-be-taxed scale.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  243. Chris in Baltimore MD

    How about a tax on self-righteous, political grand-standing? That would surely generate a tax surplus. It's no different than excise taxes on liquour, cigarettes, etc. It all a questions of "what are you willing to pay for your indulgence?"

    November 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  244. Stan

    How about taxing Congressmen's tanning booth sessions and hair transplants.


    November 20, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  245. Frederick

    Heh. For one, it's funny how they simply assume that men don't get cosmetic surgeries. For two, luxury taxes have existed for ages - I don't see what's so new or frightening about this. Personally I have nothing against the idea.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  246. miken

    when will the obamamaniacs tire of taxing every little thing.... this country is going down the tubes.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  247. Laura


    They should instead stop subsidizing the corn industry.

    This would improve the quality of the food we eat (no more cheap high fructose corn syrup) which would reduce the amount of health care we need (diabetes).

    This would in turn directly add more to the bottom line and increase the time people spend working and earning money instead of in a hospital. And people who make money spend money, so another boost to the economy.

    But the corn industry is strong. They get so much in subsidies that it's economically advantageous to use corn in everything, even your gym equipment.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  248. Susan F Pauly, RN


    November 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  249. steve

    That's wrinkly slope......why not then tax Viagra used by porn stars or monoxidil (Rogaine stuff) or cold creams. It's not only a discriminatory tax idea, it, cynically, would backfire.

    Just get out of Afghanistan and Iraq and raise income taxes across the board to pay for the essential things we need like universal health care, education and infrastructure.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  250. Eric

    The whole idea of taxing cosmetic procedures is ridiculous. Seriously the government is so desperate for money they will literally tax anything. Just one more way for the government to continue to kill the recovery of the economy. Instead of finding more ridiculous taxes how about we investigate the excessive government waste. I bet we could find billions of extra dollars in that department.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  251. Roger

    I think we need to tie voting to how much tax you pay. For every $1K in Fed tax you pay you get one vote. No tax, no vote. Then we'll see how this country can run. And healthcare, should be every man for himself. I dont really want to pay my money for someone else's health.....that's their own problem.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  252. MarieW

    Some facts: A treatment of botox costs between $350 and $600. I get them 3x a year (and no, I'm not rich, just vain I guess). So I would pay an extra $25 a session. I realize that other procedures cost much more, so the tax would be more. But, I can afford it. I think it's probably nothing compared to what I'll pay in other taxes to cover healthcare reform- which I support.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  253. Margaret

    Absolutely! I raise 2 grandchildren by myself. I haven't been able to get my own teeth looked at in over 5 years because of no health insurance. I worry about buying one dollar shampoo and toothpaste at the dollar store for our personal hygiene. If someone can spend the bucks on cosmetic surgery to help those that haven't had routine check-ups I'm all for it. I want my grandchildren to be able to get their H1N1 shots rather than me looking beautiful!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  254. joseph ricciuti

    Jake, the name of the game is "healthcare"....not "image care"...so if procedures help prevent, manage or treat an illness,sickness or diability then they should be covered...and botax is a mdeical treatment for improving spasisidy.

    "Procedures" and treatments that are cosmetic in nature...including the non medical use of Botox, should be taxed.


    November 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  255. mario ca

    Yes, but it should be 10% tax increase instead of 5%

    November 20, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  256. JasonT

    "A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government. " Thomas Jefferson

    November 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  257. Jasmine in Germany

    I actually think it is a good idea. Even the original "Monopoly" board game which was reinvented during the Great Depression (Atlantic City 1933) had a "Luxury Tax" which lots of players landed on once in a while. Is there not a "sales tax" for elective, unnecesary, not recommended for survival medical procedures? If not, there is something wrong with the system – kids can't get their fingers sewn back on, but it's ok for someone to enlarge their breasts.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  258. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    While we are at it let's tax, manicures, pedicures, spa treatments, and haircuts. All of those things are equally unnecessary and just for looks and relaxation. We can't let any Americans enjoy any of the hard earned money they make. Can't we put a 10% tax on television and video games too. It dumbs down our population and disincentivises them to lead active and healthy lives. Give me a break. We already pay a ton in taxes and raising taxes on anybody is not what our country needs right now. We need the government to shrink and stop spending money we don't have on programs the Federal Government shouldn't even be doing in the first place.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  259. Jim - Michigan

    While this sounds appealing to many, we all must be concerned. The solution to everything appears to be taxing us in a new way. Every problem that hits the news has only one solution, increase taxes. Violence in schools, more money, not parents being accountable, no schools have to take over and that means money. Health care, solution taxes, we will ignore the 800 billion dollars a year wasted through inefficiency and fraud, no raise more taxes.

    Folks, there is a breaking point, you can only tax us so much before we break. It is time for people to be responsible, get a way from being a nation of victims and become accountable. What happened to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness? The govenment is taking that away and replacing it with massive debts that at some point we simply will not be able to pay back.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  260. manuel rodriguez

    jack while they are into it what about the ones that cause the most health problems extra taxes on fast food sodas alcohol cigarette and reverse jimmy carter crime of let soda companies use corn syrup instead of sugar cane.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  261. Robert in Atlanta

    It amazes me to see some of the comments on here about how the "rich" should be taxed more. You people act like the rich are evil or something. It's the rich that provides the majority of the tax revenue, the rich that employs us, the rich that have worked hard to get where they are...only to be punished with more taxes?!? Who defines what "rich" is anyway? $250,000 a year in income is not what it used to be. With the decline in the dollar thanks to this administration's policies, this $250k will only stretch so far!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  262. Bob from Canada

    ohh why not!!!! If the average american can not afford basic medical; why not tax the folks who can afford this "EGO" medical procedure. Its great idea...

    November 20, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  263. Roy form Long Beach

    Hmmmm......Jack, I don't know about taxing "medically unnecessary procedures". That's a very slippery slope that I'm sure someone, somewhere is going to point out. Last time I checked, vasectomys, weight reduction surgeries, and abortions were "elective" procedures unless they are deemed "life threatening". Couldn't imagine NOW going for taxing the abortion thing and I sure couldn't imagine a burn victim going along with paying more for making an effort to at least resemble some part of what they used to looked like. Sounds like a lot of hypocracy and sophistry from our "Elected" Officials to me.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  264. Philly/PA

    I can't believe it! I am going to agree that elective surgery, when it is strictly for beautification, should be taxed! However, this should happen only if the democrats succeed in forcing a very poor health care onto the American people.

    With no jobs, we all will eventually be on Obamacare. Obama should focus on jobs now and health care later.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  265. Shane

    Tax the hell of these people who have the cash for such frivolous elective cosmetic procedures. How dare they bask in such luxury (and butchery) while the rest of the country suffers through this recession.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  266. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    No way Jack have you seem how many ugly people their they need all the help they can get. We should start taxing the Church that is were the money is at

    November 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  267. John in Dallas

    Yes they should be able to tax this. It's no different than a sales tax, which of course every GOP member advocates to fix all of our problems anyway. They even use that same argument with toll roads ("a user fee"). So why can't we tax something that is not a health care benefit. This is a service. Services are taxable.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  268. Christi from Houston

    Why don't they just take the entire paycheck from anyone who makes over some arbitrary salary that the Dems call rich. Then they could dole it out to all of the needy. Life would be fair. We would all be equal. AND all incentive to live a free and prosperous life would be eliminated...just as Obama, Pelosi, and Reid want...total control over ALL of us. Just sickening.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:01 pm |