Desperate to generate revenue to pay for a historically aggressive outlay of government spending, the Senate is considering taxing the vanity of Americans.
Americans spent more than $10 billion on cosmetic surgery in 2005, according to a report from UCLA's Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
"Any procedure which is directed at improving the patient's appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease," is deemed cosmetic under a 1990 law. These procedures would be the target of the proposed tax.
Such a a tax "would be a discriminatory tax against women," said Malcolm Roth of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and a plastic surgeon at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., noting that 86 percent of cosmetic surgery patients are female.