The Facts About Plastic Surgery
Want a boob job? Then you’d better move fast-because cosmetic procedures may get a lot pricier
The debate over proposed changes in the health-care system has consumed us for months. But cosmetic-surgery costs haven’t exactly been a hot topic—until the U.S. Senate began debating a proposal to subject all cosmetic medical procedures to a 5 percent tax effective Jan. 1, 2010. And it has a good chance of passing. Supporters of the “botax” say it will raise at least $5 billion over the next ten years.
In other words, that tummy tuck is probably going to cost you, unless you have it done right away. And if you’re craving a Botox binge, you might want to go under the needle before midnight on New Year’s Eve.
It’s not surprising that lawmakers looking for some extra tax money decided to focus on cosmetic surgery. True, the economy caused a 12 percent drop in the business this year. But in 2008, more than 10 million Americans had some sort of cosmetic tinkering, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). That’s roughly one out of every thirty Americans. Of those who had the procedures, the ASAPS says, 92 percent were women. The total cost: $11.8 billion.
The proposal would impose the tax on any medical procedure that is directed solely at “improving the patient’s appearance.” Among the most popular procedures that would feel the pinch:
Botox injections. In 2008, a total of 2.2 million women got Botox injections, according to the ASAPS, making it the most popular cosmetic procedure of all. Since 1997, Botox usage has increased by more than 3,600 percent. Average cost: $443.
Breast augmentation (boob jobs). According to ASAPS records, 355,671 women had this procedure in 2008. That’s a 251 percent jump since 1997. Average cost: $3,885 (silicone gel implants), $3,603 (saline implants).