Proposed plastic surgery tax in U.S. could enhance medical tourism

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

There's at least one sector celebrating a proposed tax on plastic surgery in the United States, and that's the people who cater to medical tourism.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of North Americans look offshore for tummy tucks, facelifts and breast enhancements, knowing they can pay a fraction of the costs they would have to fork over in the United States.
The 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic procedures was proposed as part of the 2,074-page health reform bill presented by the U.S. Democratic Party this month. The tax is expected to generate $5.8 billion to help fund the $849 billion health system overhaul.
But plastic surgeons in the United States have launched a campaign to prevent the tax, arguing that its effects would result in discrimination against women, who represent 86 percent of cosmetic surgery patients there.