National report — A bill that would impose a 6 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery procedures in Illinois to fund embryonic stem cell research has stalled in the General Assembly. House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, says the plan would not be approved the way it is drafted with the tax, according to news reports. The legislature adjourned its spring session May 31. It will return in late October.
Opponents of the proposed tax, including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and Illinois-based cosmetic surgeons, have lobbied against the measure since it was introduced in late February. They say it would set a dangerous precedent for taxing elective procedures, draw often unclear distinctions between reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, and disproportionately impact working women.
New Jersey, the only state thus far to tax cosmetic surgery, is experiencing a 75 percent shortfall of projected revenue in its first year of implementation, according to ASPS.