From the Center for Medicare Advocacy:
More than 40 organizations whose missions are to promote access to affordable, high-quality health care and long-term services and supports for older adults, people with disabilities, and their families, sent a letter to leaders in the US Senate as they consider tax changes this week. The letter expresses the organizations’ strong opposition to tax bills that would diminish health and long-term care availability and affordability for older adults and people with disabilities.
Both Senate and House tax bills under consideration would explode the national debt by $1.5 trillion and drive up the yearly deficit. The letter’s signatories oppose the bills because this tremendous revenue shortfall will lead to cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs that millions of older adults, people with disabilities, and their families rely on. For example, more than 57 million older adults and people with disabilities rely on Medicare, including 11 million low-income beneficiaries who have both Medicare and Medicaid.
The Senate tax plan repeals the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate and would leave 13 million Americans uninsured. The letter explains that this repeal will raise the costs of insurance for people with preexisting and chronic conditions, making it more difficult for the 3.3 million adults over 55 who obtain insurance through the ACA marketplaces to afford health care.
The elimination of the medical expense tax deduction, currently in the House bill, would also disproportionately harm older adults, people with disabilities and their families. This population has particularly high out-of-pocket health costs that create a significant financial burden. Repealing the medical expense tax deduction would threaten the financial security of people already struggling with health and economic challenges.
The organizations’ letter urges Senate leaders to adopt a bipartisan, transparent process for tax reform that takes these issues into consideration – and includes public hearings, open comments, multi-stakeholder meetings, and sufficient time for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to analyze the bill.
Read the full letter and see list of signatories here.