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Viewpoint: Freeze the Botax

Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS

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Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this Viewpoint are those of the author and not necessarily those of Skin Inc. magazine.

As Americans debate healthcare reform and elected officials search for methods of funding the proposed $1 trillion public option healthcare plan, cosmetic medicine has been thrust to the forefront of the conversation as a vehicle for generating revenue. Known as the “Botax,” the tax would charge a 5% tax not just on Botox*, but on all “cosmetic” medical procedures performed by licensed medical professionals.

This is not the first time such an idea has been proposed. A similar bill was signed into law in New Jersey in 2004. However, it has fallen far short of expectations. Having collected 59% less than what was projected and costing three-to-four dollars in government expense for every dollar collected, its failings have resulted in its attempted repeal, led by assembly member and original bill sponsor, Joseph Cryan. However, Governor Jon Corzine vetoed the repeal, and the law remains in place.

Sin taxes

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