Tales from the Trail

Senate surprise: tax cosmetic surgery

The Senate’s healthcare reform legislation published by Democratic leaders last night included a big surprise for anyone saving up to enhance or undo what God gave them — a new 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic procedures. OBAMA/

The tax would take effect beginning in January and is being proposed as part of the sweeping healthcare overhaul to partly pay the cost of helping millions of uninsured people obtain medical coverage.

It would raise nearly $6 billion over 10 years, and who knows, perhaps even a few lawmakers might be enhancing the Federal Treasury if the tax ends up in a final bill signed by President Barack Obama.

The tax proposal came as a bit of a surprise to investors, and shares of Allergan, which markets popular wrinkle fighting Botox and Natrelle breast implants, fell in early trading along with the share prices of other makers of products for cosmetic procedures.

BRITAIN/It is possible that the proposed new tax will be cut from the bill during the upcoming Senate debate.

Clinton hopes for success where his effort failed

Former President Bill Clinton is clearly hoping that Congress succeeds this time around where his administration failed 15 years ago.

clintonAnd perfection is not required — just get healthcare reform done. That was Clinton’s message to Senate Democrats who are now behind the steering wheel in trying to move legislation forward.

Clinton’s own effort to overhaul the healthcare system in 1994 fizzled long before reaching this far — the House of Representatives approved its version of a bill last weekend.