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Dems Shift Tax From Botox To Tanning

From a tittering New York Times:

You’re Going to Pay for That Tan


December 23, 2009

DERMATOLOGISTS and plastic surgeons may find themselves off the hook. Last weekend, the Senate replaced a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic procedures with one on indoor tanning services in its proposed health care bill.

In recent weeks, doctors and industry groups lobbied against the so-called Bo-Tax, a play on Botox, arguing in part that it discriminated against women, who receive the majority of cosmetic surgery and anti-aging injections. The site Stopcosmetictax.org, financed in part by Allergan, which makes Botox, stated that “it is unfair and insulting” to impose a penalty on cosmetic procedures sought primarily by women as if the procedures were unhealthy, like smoking.

Dr. David M. Pariser, the president of the American Academy of Dermatology, said his association proposed that an indoor-tanning tax be considered in place of the cosmetic tax, and that it contacted the offices of senators. “We made the case this will reduce health care costs by hopefully reducing skin cancer in the future — that’s the point — and also raise a little revenue now,” Dr. Pariser said.

The 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services, which the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation projects will raise $2.7 billion over 10 years (compared with the estimated $5.8 billion the cosmetic tax would have raised), is designed to offset some of the expense of providing health insurance for millions more Americans.

Supporters of the tax hope it will discourage the use of tanning beds, which have been linked to skin cancer. Indoor tanning before age 30 has been associated with a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, according to a review of medical literature last summer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization

If one objection to the Bo-Tax was that it singled out women, opponents of the tanning tax say that women are also singled out. Most salon owners are women, as are most clients, said Kathe Ray, a moderator for TanToday.com, a forum for salon owners. “They are still discriminating against women,” said Mrs. Ray, the owner of a tanning salon near Detroit. “It’s just changed industries. It hasn’t changed the end customer.”

Come July, when the tax is to take effect, any provider of indoor tanning, presumably including gyms that have only a bed or two, must add the 10 percent tax to their services.

It is likely that salons will absorb the tax themselves rather than burden consumers, said Dan Humiston, the president of the Indoor Tanning Association…

Taxing tanning-bed services makes sense to Dr. Darrell S. Rigel, a melanoma researcher and a past president of the American Academy of Dermatology. “The rates of melanoma are rising among young women, who are the biggest users of tanning beds,” he said. “We are seeing melanomas on these women where the sun doesn’t normally shine but where tanning beds shine,” namely on breasts and pubic areas.

Overexposure to ultraviolet light has risks, said Mr. Humiston of the Indoor Tanning Association. But, he said, the benefits of moderate exposure to UV light, including its stimulation of the body’s production of vitamin D, shouldn’t be discounted. “It’s such hypocrisy that dermatologists are gleeful about putting a tax on something where there’s an actual benefit,” he said. Botox does nothing more than make people look better, he added, “and that’s not going to be taxed?”

The original headline for this article was: “Senate Shifts Tax to Tanning Beds.” Of course what it should be is: “You’re Going to Pay The Government for That Tan.”

Don’t tanning salons already charge for their services?

No, the only difference is that now you will get to pay the government an extra 10% for the privilege of using a tanning bed.

But we suppose we should be grateful that the government is allowing us to get tanned at all. — For now.

After all, as the article helpfully explains, tanning is probably bad for you – and the planet.

Still, perhaps we’re growing paranoid. But we can’t help but wonder if this tax being switched from Nancy Pelosi’s Botox to tanning beds might not be a slam at the GOP’s House minority leader John Boehner.

After all, Mr. Obama has joked several times about Boehner’s tanning habits.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Dems Shift Tax From Botox To Tanning”

  1. Mister Brickhouse says:

    Not only does it discriminate against women, it also discriminates against WHITE women, and of course, white men too. Given the anti-discrimination laws, I’d be surprised if this could pass a court test.

  2. proreason says:

    What about a 100% surtax on congressional income? Salary, benefits, speaking engagements, earned and unerarned income. With a non-compliance penalty of lifetime imprisonment. Or as an alternative, the perpetrator would have to utilize government health care.

    Of course, it would have to be for all races, sexes, creeds, and sexual preferences.

    To be fair.

  3. Chuckk says:

    I’m surprised John Boehner let this get by him. It will drive his cost of living way up.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Anything to keep Sanfran Nan from paying taxes keeping the wrinkles and stretch marks away from her forehead and around her lips!

  5. WTBFreedom says:

    Call me crazy but, you know Pelosi was in on this. She had to have been.

    Anyways, this to me is just ridiculous. This is what all those dishonest and immoral on the lowest level socialist coddling cowards (thank you to Dr. Becky F. Hollibaugh of Nebraska for the statement) who are supposed to be our representatives debate in Washington? Mister Brickhouse made a very good point. I would think the majority of people who visit tanning salons are white. I don’t go to tanning salons myself but this to me seems to be taxing a freedom of choice decision. But that must be the goal behind these crooks and cheats.

    Thank you to the obamanation and his cronies who spewed this legislation. After all, getting a tan is bad for the environment. You are going to melt the ice caps and kill the polar bears and give little girls nightmares.

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