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'Botax:' Nips and tucks could cost more than ever before

BotaxNOTE: this story was updated on Dec. 21 to reflect breaking news


Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the most taxed of them all? Well, it was nearly Americans seeking to lift a little "here" and tuck just a bit "there" as these people faced paying 5% more than they expected.

The tax, included in the health care bill was being debated in the Senate could have been forked over by consumers looking to ditch love handles, excess baby weight, drooping eyelids, and have any elective cosmetic surgery not deemed necessary to "address deformities arising from congenital abnormalities, personal injuries resulting from an accident or trauma, or disfiguring diseases."

If Botox plumps up wrinkles, it seems only fair that the proposal be nicknamed Bo-Tax, since it would plump up bills handed out for these procedures.

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Plastic surgeons are livid with many citing an unjust stereotype they say is unfairly assigned to cosmetic procedures. One doctor who agreed to speak to WalletPop under the condition on anonymity said the rich are being targeted, but it's the middle class who will feel the biggest pinch.

"The wealthy will pay the extra tax to have the tummies tucked. I'm worried about the middle class patient who lacks self-esteem because of excess skin that results from a significant weight loss. That person might not be able to afford having a procedure that could boost his or her self-esteem ten-fold," Doctor "Sam", a licensed, plastic surgeon in California that's been in pratice for more than 20 years, says.

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According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 60% of members' patients earn less than $90,000 a year.

"Our patients aren't just "rich." In fact, most of them aren't anywhere near "rich," says Dr. Sam.

There's concern that those residing in border states will seek their nips and tucks in Mexico. A theory that has many fearing for the lives and safety of Americans. "These cosmetic procedures need to be performed by competent, qualified, and licensed professionals. Not someone who read a manual and plays doctor," says Dr. Sam.

UPDATE: Earlier this week, the Senate handed botox lovers an early Christmas present, surgically removing the 'Bo-tax' from the health care reform bill. But they countered with by slapping sun-worshippers with a 10% tax. Effective July 2010, booth tanners will fork over 10% if they use indoor tanning beds with UV rays.

Sound off. Is plastic surgery just for the wealthy? Should all elective cosmetic procedures be taxed?

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