Americans opting to have surgery to suck out fat, grow or shrink breasts, shape their nose or banish wrinkles may pay for a health care revamp that was unveiled by US Senate Democrats.
The White House-backed plan would impose a five-percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery that is estimated to raise an estimated 5.8 billion dollars over 10 years towards the 849-billion-dollar plan.
The measure exempts plastic surgery done to remedy a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or disfiguring disease.
Individuals who seek purely elective procedures, which are typically paid for directly out of patients' pockets, would have to pay the new tax starting in January 2010.
The global economic recession has not dented US demand for cosmetic surgery procedures, which were up three percent in 2008 to 12.1 million procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
But breast augmentations were down 12 percent from 2007, to 307,230, while wrinkle-banishing Botox injections were up eight percent to just over five million procedures.
The legislation does not exempt US lawmakers.