The leaked repeal bill from mid-February eliminated the artificial tanning excise tax. UV tanning bed services were taxed at 10% to partially fund the ACA. This is not a huge source of revenue but it is a source of revenue that also performs the function of public health improvement over the long term. This tax repeal will result in more people with cancer.
Tanning beds can ring up a steep bill — a whopping $343 million each year in medical costs in the US alone….
The researchers looked at all skin cancer cases in 2015, and then applied data on indoor tanning prevalence and relative risk of skin cancer after using a tanning bed to those numbers. They estimated that there were 263,600 cases of skin cancer in 2015 that could be attributed to the use of tanning beds.
This is an estimate. But it is significant. Approximately 1% of the tanning bed user base gets cancer from tanning bed use according to the estimate.
The 10% tax raises the relative price of tanning compared to other alternatives (beach, non-UV tanning, not tanning at all etc) so it reduces tanning bed utilization compared to the counterfactual of no tax. Under a no tax scenario, more people will tan and current tanners will incrementally increase utilization. Both of those results will lead to incrementally more cancers.
It’s complicated. Just remember that as taxes are cut in the name of freedom to get more cancer.