Health care reform’s tanning tax

To minimize the penalties you may suffer under health care reform, withdraw from your HSA now and spend the money on some indoor tanning. From this helpful timeline [.pdf] detailing what’s in the reform bill:

Indoor Tanning Services Tax. Imposes a ten percent tax on amounts paid for indoor tanning services in lieu of the tax on cosmetic surgery. Indoor tanning services are services that use an electronic product with one or more ultraviolet lamps to induce skin tanning. The tax would be effective for services on or after July 1 , 2010.

I dislike indoor tanning as much as anyone who’s had “Jersey Shore” intrude into their cultural lexicon but I don’t know why taxing it should be part of health care reform, why this is a logical substitute for taxing cosmetic surgery, or why we were thinking about taxing cosmetic surgery in the first place. Thankfully I tan the natural way, from the glow of my computer monitor.

[Link via Arnold Kling.]


2 thoughts on “Health care reform’s tanning tax”

  1. I don’t know why… this is a logical substitute for taxing cosmetic surgery.

    It’s perfectly logical. The cosmetic surgery has more money with which to grease the palms of politicians and rent seek than the tanning industry does.

  2. one rationale is that is leads directly to skin cancer, which requires treatment. thus demand rises and so do prices, and we subsidize those jersey shore kids’ biopsies through higher premiums.

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