before + afters

Do You Want the Federal Government to Tax Your Right to Lipo?

Know what’s really scary about the health care reform currently being applauded, and denounced, on the Hill? No, it’s not death panels, or health care rationing, or Medicare cuts, or paying for abortions. It’s the audacity of lawmakers to think they can tax our cosmetic surgery!

Whether you’re getting your nose shaven, your vagina rejuvenated, your crow’s feet stretched, your forehead de-wrinkled, your ass enlarged, and your entire body lifted, expect to pay a 5 percent retainer to the federal government. Part of the Senate’s heath care bill includes a 5 percent tax on all elective cosmetic surgery, with the goal of raising an estimated $6 billion.

And it already has a cute name: “the Botax.”

You can be damn sure the plastic surgery lobby — including trade groups like the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons — is already on the defense. They’re arguing that the tax is not a surcharge on the rich who upgrade their bodies, as lawmakers claim, because plenty of lower-earning Americans are also tired of varicose veins. That, and the tax is discriminatory — against women! Since women make up 90 percent of cosmetic surgery patients, the 5 percent levy unfairly targets the fairer sex.

Interesting, then, that it’s the Senate’s women who are expected to cast the deciding votes. Will Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe stand for such aesthetic injustices?