Tanning Tax

The new health care reform act has in it the provision for a ten percent tax on the indoor tanning industry.  This revenue stream was originally placed on Botox treatments and was called botax.

“We suggested that the tanning tax would be a better alternative to the cosmetic tax and hopefully will reduce the incidence of skin cancer down the road,” said David M. Pariser, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association.  WSJ Online

How is it that the AADA has such power over the practice of medicine?  They like every other institution try to protect its own interest in business.  Intended consequence or unintended result?  Usually when the government places a ‘sin tax’ on some specific article the intent is to discourage people from using that particular thing with the justification that it is a burden on society like the taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

Now what was in the ‘Sick care’ Bill originally was a 5% tax on using Botox which would have raised twice as much money as the 10% tax on tanning beds.  I am sure that the AADA was not happy with the ‘Botax’ because it would have discouraged people from using cosmetic enhancements that could only be delivered by the dermatology industry, thus cutting into their total revenues.  The other interesting thing about changing to tanning beds from cosmetic items is that it put the tax on the middle income people instead of placing the tax on higher income people which has been the goal of the Obama administration.

I guess you know where I am going next.  The amount of disease created by people making less vitamin D when not using tanning beds is going to put a greater burden on our sick care system.  Intended or unintended consequence?  Ah, institutional manipulation for the interest of making money and not for truly serving people’s health.  Over the last 40 years the AADA has done its best to keep people out of the sun or to use sunscreen.  This has really caused a very serious epidemic of chronic disease under the guise that spending more time in the sun increases your opportunity for skin cancer.  Take the facts and manipulate them for profit.  What a great country!

Now if they really wanted to do something that would create a significant revenue stream and reduce the burden of disease they could put a ten percent tax on the use of high fructose corn syrup.  Who knows, maybe it would even improve our relationship with Cuba as we used more cane sugar.

Have you missed me?  Been spending too much time in the sun!  –  Pandemic Survivor

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