Today, I want to speak out against Botax. Congress has added a provision to the Healthcare Reform bill that will tax cosmetic medical procedures.
I have been in this industry for a long time, over 25 years, and during that time I have owned or operated over 70 spas, medical spas and cosmetic practices nationwide. I’ve had the good fortune to have touched the lives of over 1 million men and women.
Interestingly enough, it has been through cosmetic medical procedures that I have seen the greatest impact on people. Cosmetic medical procedures transform a person, not just physically, and oftentimes act as a catalyst leading to improved lifestyle change including weight loss, increased exercise and better nutrition. All of which enhances a person’s self esteem, confidence, and the ability to face the world with greater strength and focus.
Additionally, many of these minimally invasive cosmetic procedures such as BOTOX®, Photofacials and Laser Lipolysis are purchased by a very broad economic market. I read one article stating that the majority of cosmetic medical procedures are purchased by individuals living in households with incomes between $30,000 and $90,000 per year. These are not services for the rich and famous but the everyday person making a conscious decision to spend their discretionary income to look and feel better.
Tax cosmetic medical procedures? Why negatively impact something that helps so many American’s self esteem, confidence, and health; especially during this recession.
As I tell my team: don’t just state the problem, bring me the solution. So here’s our recommendation to Congress: Tax soft drinks! This will have a positive impact on our nation’s health. The level of soft drink consumption in this country is linked to the growing problem of obesity, especially childhood obesity, and morbidities caused by obesity including diabetes, heart disease, and more. This creates a burden on our healthcare system and costs Americans billions of dollars.
33 states already tax soft drinks at a basic rate of approximately 5.2%. Depending how a federal tax on soft drinks is designed it could potentially generate as much as $10 billion per year in tax revenue versus only the estimated $6 billion over ten years that the BoTax will generate. In addition to bringing in additional tax revenue a soft drink tax would result in other benefits to the American public including: helping to reduce soft drink consumption through effectively increasing the cost to the consumer, increasing the overall health of the American public through reduced consumption and reducing the burden on the healthcare system caused by obesity and the linked morbidities.
Congress, stop before you do more harm than good. Ban the BoTAX.