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Will A Tax On Breast Implants In The UK Drive People Away?

The British HM Revenue and Customs is planning to impose a tax on cosmetic surgeries by slapping VAT on any artificial enhancements and procedures. According to the new guidelines by the department responsible for collecting UK’s taxes, doctors performing more invasive procedures will have to register for VAT and pass the charge on to their patients. The guidelines suggest that patients having such cosmetic procedures will have to pay the tax unless they can persuade the doctor that the operation is being carried out for “therapeutic” reasons. Although the move is being considered to help plug the deficit in Britain’s public finances, but Fazel Fatah, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), said that this could harm many patients.
Source: dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report_boob-tax-to-increase-cost-of-cosmetic-surgery-by-20-per-cent_1599777

The government in the UK seeks to hasten the movement of cosmetic surgery business out of the country it seems. That will likely be the effect of the planned extension of the VAT tax to cosmetic surgery. It is already less expensive for British citizens to leave the country for their cosmetic surgery. The care in most cases is not equivalent. The reason to consider it just got 20% more persuasive however. That is a huge tax!

Here in the US, Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Healthcare Reform Bill

The healthcare reform bill is 1,017 pages long and contains a lot that will impact Americans. I’m one who believes we had to come into the 21st century and join the rest of the civilized nations in beginning to provide healthcare to all citizens. You be the judge.

Here are 10 things I bet you didn’t know are in the new healthcare reform bill:

  1. Menu labeling. Restaurants with over 20 employees must include calorie counts and other nutrition information on their menus.
  2. SWAG reporting. Doctors must report valuable goodies they receive from health vendors.
  3. Right to pump. New moms must be given space and time to pump breast milk (for employers with over 50 employees).
  4. Research. The bill includes research for postpartum depression.
  5. Tan tax. There’s a 10 percent tax on tanning booths.
  6. Adoption credit. Adoptive parents receive tax credits to encourage adoption.
  7. More research. The bill includes research for Indian health studies.
  8. Safety. The bill includes required background checks for long-term care workers.
  9. Right wing. The bill includes required abstinence education.
  10.  Transparency. Employers must show employer and employee contributions for healthcare on W-2 forms.

Fox News (“fair and balanced”) has said that it’s “what you don’t know that can hurt you.” Fox also said that “42 percent of doctors said they would quit or retire if healthcare reform became law.” It’s time to stop the fear mongering, lies and deception and understand just what this reform will and won’t do for the American public.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

How To Improve Access For The Poor: Allow Physicians To Deduct Uncompensated Care From Their Income Taxes?

As we wrestle with political factions and mull over assorted ideas for reforming health-care in America, one simple solution bears discussion.  Of course, we notoriously hate simple solutions.  The modern American solution to simple solutions is to develop layers of complexity and inefficiency.  I can only assume that in government, as in hospital administrations, this has to do with creating jobs.  To the extent that it keeps nefarious, clever individuals off the street and occupies them in what passes for gainful employment, I applaud the effort.  But it seldom solves problems, and typically creates them.

Nevertheless, I digress.   My painfully simple solution is this.  Allow every health-care provider to deduct, from their federal income tax, the care they provide for free to uninsured patients.  It can be the Medicare value of the care; possibly even the Medicaid value.  But in the end, a financially savvy doctor, dentist, therapist or any other health professional will end up paying no income tax. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at edwinleap.com*

Will Taxing Soft Drinks Solve The Obesity Problem?


This week’s New England Journal of Medicine contained a very, very interesting proposal put forth by a few prominent physicians and researchers working on the obesity crisis in America.

They propose that beverages loaded with sugar should be considered a public health hazard (much like cigarettes) and should be taxes. The proposal calls for an excise tax of “a penny an ounce” for beverages like sugar sweetened soft drinks that have added sugars. They cite research that links obesity to heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and other health problems. They say sugar sweetened beverages should be taxed in order to curb consumption and help pay for the increasing health care costs of obesity.

They estimate that the tax would generate about $14.9 billion in the first year alone and would increase prices of soft drinks by about 15-20%. That is big money, but at what cost?

My personal opinion is that while the tax would generate a lot of money that could be put to good use on anti-obesity programs, it is singling out one industry when obesity has numerous contributing factors. Calories Americans are getting from beverages have actually gone down in the past decade, but obesity rates still climb. Soft drinks alone are not making us fatter.

Americans need to pay closer attention to portion sizes and overall calories coming into their bodies from all sources. We know that Americans also eat too much fried food, candy, ice cream, etc. Should we tax everything that is “bad” for us? Absolutely not! And these foods are not “bad” when consumed in reasonable quantities in reasonable frequency.

We also need to learn how to move our bodies more to burn off some of the sweet treats that we love to indulge in. Weight loss is a simple equation that I don’t get tired of explaining again and again: Move more and eat less.

Taxing soft drinks will not decrease heart disease risk…exercising more and losing body fat by consuming less calories definitely will!

This post, Will Taxing Soft Drinks Solve The Obesity Problem?, was originally published on Healthine.com by Brian Westphal.

Some Device Companies Would Rather Pay A Fee Than Engage In Price Transparency?

Here’s a dumb thought: If you want to save costs on medical devices to the federal government, require a tax fee concessions of $4 billion dollars from the medical device companies to fund a health care overhaul.

Now either that $4 billion will get added to the cost of devices (and the patient/insurer’s tab) or the device companies will decide that they must pay the fee to maintain their current pricing.

Government pressures hospitals and doctors by paying less, so hospitals keep the heat on medical device makers to lower costs so they can make their margins.

It all sounds good, right?

But according to one analyst, it seems device makers would rather pay the fee than make their prices transparent:

But the mechanism for how devices companies might pay matters more than what they pay, according to Morgan Stanley analyst David Lewis. “A ‘flat tax’ is preferable, in our view, to targeted industry fees as our larger concern is the creation of more infrastructure intended to catalyze pricing transparency,” he said.

And so, with the fee, the government pays itself while the medical device prices continue to remain inflated.

Why do the patients always seem to lose with these government-mandated scenarios?

-Wes

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

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