KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

In New Jersey, Cosmetic Surgery Tax Reaped Funds Far Below Projections

Bloomberg: "A tax on breast enhancements and other cosmetic care, similar to one proposed in the U.S. Senate's health-overhaul legislation, doesn't generate even a third of the $30 million a year originally projected for it in New Jersey, the only state with such a levy."

That state's program, which began in 2004, "grossed about $9 million last year (far short of the $30 million it was supposed to raise per year), according to data from the state's legislative services office." That amount doesn't factor in the "cost of administering the 6 percent levy, which the office doesn't have figures on." An assemblyman in New Jersey who sponsored the legislation and now wants it repealed said the tax ended up discouraging cosmetic care in the state. "In the U.S., about 12 million people spent $10.3 billion in 2008 on cosmetic procedures and products, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, based in Arlington Heights, Illinois" (Gaouette, 12/7). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.