Medical Expense Tax Deduction: Letter to Congress

Medical Expense Tax Deduction: Letter to Congress

On November 21, 2017 The Senior Citizens League delivered advocacy letters to caution members of Congress to NOT repeal the medical expense tax deduction. The letters were delivered to Majority and Minority members of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Taxes, in addition to a few other key Congressional members. Learn which members are on the Ways and Means Sub-committee on taxes here.

 

November 21, 2017

The Honorable Doris Matsui

2311 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Representative Matsui,

On behalf of The Senior Citizens League’s (TSCL’s) one million members nation-wide – 4,803 of whom are your constituents – I urge you and your colleagues in Congress to reject the elimination of the medical expense deduction.

As you know, the medical expense deduction is essential for older Americans who disproportionately experience high medical costs for prescription drugs, medical equipment, or services like nursing home care. Around 5 million taxpayers, most of whom are over the age of sixty-five, rely upon the tax deduction when their out-of-pocket medical costs total more than 10 percent of their annual income.

In a January 2017 survey of The Senior Citizens League’s members and supporters, 34 percent said they itemize deductions for out-of-pocket healthcare costs most years. One member of The Senior Citizens League – William P. from California – recently contacted us to share his concerns about the elimination of the medical expense deduction. William is home-bound due to several medical conditions, and he relies on home health aides to provide him with lifesaving care on a daily basis. At the age of 61, William is not yet eligible for Medicare and he expects the out-of-pocket cost of his care to total $48,000 by the end of this year. The elimination of the medical expense deduction would be a major financial loss for him.

William told TSCL this week: “Senior citizens have the most to lose because they are by far the largest population of people who find themselves in need of costly in-home or nursing home care. For Congress not to be concerned with the catastrophic effect this would cause is cruel and unusual indifference to elderly and disabled Americans.”

The Senior Citizens League’s members nation-wide agree that the elimination of the medical expense deduction would be a significant loss for those living on fixed incomes. I encourage lawmakers to keep this critical tax deduction in place and to take a stand for older and disabled Americans as tax reform discussions continue in the days and weeks ahead.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact The Senior Citizens League at any time.

Sincerely,
Art Cooper, Chairman

The Senior Citizens League

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