Breaking News
November 19, 2017 - Retinal sensitivity linked to cognitive status in T2DM
November 19, 2017 - Dental filling failure linked to smoking, drinking and genetics
November 19, 2017 - Medicaid expansion takes a bite out of medical debt
November 19, 2017 - Study aims to involve parents in early intervention services for children with autism
November 19, 2017 - Don’t Fret Delays in Treating Colon Cancer, Study Suggests
November 19, 2017 - Yeast Infection Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 19, 2017 - Video of blood clot contraction reveals how platelets naturally form unobtrusive clots
November 19, 2017 - UNN researchers explore modeling of cognitive dissonance phenomenon
November 19, 2017 - Verseon presents second anticoagulation candidate for clinical trials at AHA 2017
November 19, 2017 - Pregnant Asian women who develop high blood pressure at highest risk for heart failure hospitalization
November 19, 2017 - Medicare seeks comment on ways to cut costs of Part D drugs
November 19, 2017 - Tree cover linked to fewer asthma cases in polluted urban neighborhoods
November 19, 2017 - Make the Diagnosis: Hair Care Conundrum
November 19, 2017 - New techniques give blood biopsies greater promise
November 19, 2017 - Researchers identify possible genetic basis for coronary artery disease
November 19, 2017 - Stress experienced by emergency call handlers has negative impact on psychological health
November 18, 2017 - New cancer cell screening is improving childhood leukaemia treatment
November 18, 2017 - Groundbreaking study identifies protein as potential factor in cancer metastasis
November 18, 2017 - New model to test effectiveness of existing and potential CF therapies
November 18, 2017 - Staying Active May Lower Odds for Glaucoma
November 18, 2017 - Potential new autism drug shows promise in mice
November 18, 2017 - Some states roll back ‘retroactive Medicaid,’ a buffer for the poor — and for hospitals
November 18, 2017 - Selectively deleting stem cell factor promotes recovery after TBI in mice
November 18, 2017 - Breakthrough research brings new procedure closer to helping patients with blood cancer
November 18, 2017 - Dr Peter Simpson Appointed to SLAS Board of Directors
November 18, 2017 - Friendships between young children can protect against ADHD
November 18, 2017 - Old World monkeys could hold key to stop progression of rheumatoid arthritis
November 18, 2017 - Harris Health System RNs named among 20 Outstanding Nurses for 2017
November 18, 2017 - Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy
November 18, 2017 - Mount Sinai researchers identify new therapeutic target for ER+ breast cancer
November 18, 2017 - Age, CRP levels predict success in tapering of biologics in rheumatoid arthritis patients
November 18, 2017 - New dye could be used to observe electrical activity of neurons in the brain
November 18, 2017 - New study further validates use of vaginal progesterone to decrease risk of preterm birth
November 18, 2017 - Russian researcher determined range of reference values for boron in the human body
November 18, 2017 - ‘What the Health?’ Tax bill or health bill?
November 18, 2017 - Could Your Cat Give You ‘Bird Flu?’
November 18, 2017 - Vitamin D Linked to Fertility Outcomes in ART
November 18, 2017 - Neuroscientists identify genetic changes in microglia in a mouse model of neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease
November 18, 2017 - Tax reform proposal could impact care for older Americans
November 18, 2017 - PCSK9 inhibitor offers clinical benefit to patients with peripheral artery disease
November 18, 2017 - Researchers receive £1.3 million to develop sight-saving imaging technology
November 18, 2017 - Novel buckypaper sensor could pave way for high-performance, affordable wearable technology
November 18, 2017 - Despite ACA cost protections, most adolescents skip regular checkups
November 18, 2017 - Stem cell treatment allows paraplegic rats to walk and regain sensory perception
November 18, 2017 - HTC analytical conference comes to the UK
November 18, 2017 - Face It: Drinking, Smoking Takes Toll on Looks: MedlinePlus Health News
November 18, 2017 - New research shows where in the brain the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s occur
November 18, 2017 - Philips announces launch of global movement to raise awareness for COPD
November 18, 2017 - University of Bristol awarded grant to reduce antibacterial drug resistance in Thailand
November 18, 2017 - New oxytocin chemical sensor could be first step towards early diagnosis of autism
November 18, 2017 - Study shows how naïve T-cells may affect tumor immunity and immunotherapy
November 18, 2017 - New studies highlight importance of cardiorespiratory fitness to reduce CVD risk
November 18, 2017 - Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction
November 18, 2017 - Specially tailored, ultrafast light pulses can trigger neurons to fire in different patterns
November 18, 2017 - Decrease in sunshine linked to rising incidence of Rickets
November 18, 2017 - Harnessing social media big data to fight against prescription drug crisis
November 18, 2017 - Researchers find way to switch tumor cells between 2D and 3D morphology
November 18, 2017 - Leaf-eating ability of beetle largely due to bacteria inside the insect
November 18, 2017 - FDA Approves Hemlibra (emicizumab-kxwh) for Hemophilia A with Inhibitors
November 18, 2017 - Adolescents underreport amphetamine use, likely unaware that adderall is amphetamine
November 18, 2017 - Study reveals a reduced risk of teenage eczema in breastfed babies
November 18, 2017 - Separating side effects could pave way for safe, effective pain medications
November 18, 2017 - Gut bacteria at young age can contribute to MS disease onset and progression, study suggests
November 18, 2017 - Environmental triggers may play role in development of Lupus
November 18, 2017 - Review looks into conventional versus new treatment modalities in orthodontic pain management
November 17, 2017 - FDA Alert: Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride and Atropine Sulfate Tablets by Greenstone: Recall
November 17, 2017 - For older women, every movement matters
November 17, 2017 - Talking-based therapy could transform aftercare for cancer survivors
November 17, 2017 - Olympus IXplore SpinSR10 imaging system enables researchers to observe fine details in live cells
November 17, 2017 - Study explores reasons for underrepresentation of minorities in genetic cancer research
November 17, 2017 - California firm running physician practices is closing down as scrutiny ramps up
November 17, 2017 - BMI not valid measure of obesity in postmenopausal women, study shows
November 17, 2017 - Vaginal progesterone decreases the risk of premature birth in women with short cervix
November 17, 2017 - Pricey ER Tests for Chest Pain Often Unnecessary
November 17, 2017 - ‘Old’ Lungs May Be Good Transplant Options: MedlinePlus Health News
November 17, 2017 - How not to gain weight over the holidays
November 17, 2017 - Researchers map first-ever proteome of healthy human heart
November 17, 2017 - Drug used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective for Zika virus
November 17, 2017 - One in 20 children still receiving codeine to treat pain despite warning from federal regulators
November 17, 2017 - Improving clinical trials with machine learning
House tax bill would scrap deduction for medical expenses

House tax bill would scrap deduction for medical expenses

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The tax bill unveiled by Republicans in the House on Thursday would not, as had been rumored, eliminate the tax penalty for failure to have health insurance. But it would eliminate a decades-old deduction for people with very high medical costs.

The controversial bill is an effort by Republicans to revamp the nation’s tax code and provide dramatic tax cuts for business and individuals. However, its future is not yet clear because Republicans, who control both the House and Senate, appear divided on key measures.

The medical deduction, originally created in World War II, is available only to taxpayers whose expenses are above 10 percent of their adjusted gross income.

Because of that threshold, and because it is available only to people who itemize their deductions, the medical expense deduction is not used by many people — an estimated 8.8 million claimed it on their 2015 taxes, according to the IRS.

But those 8.8 million tax filers claimed an estimated $87 billion in deductions; meaning that those who do qualify for the deduction have very high out-of-pocket health costs.

“For many people, this is a big deduction,” said David Certner, legislative counsel for AARP, which opposes the change. AARP has calculated that about three-quarters of those who claim the medical expense deduction are 50 or older, and more than 70 percent have incomes $75,000 or below. Many of those expenses are for long-term care, which is typically not covered by health insurance. Long-term care can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, called the bill’s elimination of the medical expense deduction “anti-senior.”

But defenders of the bill say the elimination of the deduction should not be seen in isolation.

In an FAQ posted on the House Ways and Means Committee website, the bill’s sponsors denied that the change would “be a financial burden.”

“Our bill lowers the tax rates and increases the standard deduction so people can immediately keep more of their paychecks — instead of having to rely on a myriad of provisions that many will never use and others may use only once in their lifetime,” the sponsors said.

Getting rid of many current deductions “is being done to finance rate cuts and increase the standard deduction and child tax credit,” said Nicole Kaeding, an economist with the business-backed Tax Foundation. So, for many tax filers, she said, “there will likely be offsetting tax cuts.”

On the other hand, those offsetting cuts almost by definition will not make up the difference for people with very large medical expenses, who are the only ones who qualify for the medical deduction.

“That’s why tax reform is hard,” Kaeding said.

Strikingly absent from the bill — for now — is any reference to the elimination of the tax penalty for failure to have health insurance. The so-called individual mandate is one of the most unpopular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans failed to change or repeal earlier this year.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is continuing to push language to add to the bill that would eliminate the penalty. President Donald Trump has added his endorsement via Twitter: “Wouldn’t it be great to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further Tax Cuts,” he wrote Wednesday.

But while the president is correct that there would be savings from eliminating the mandate, the Congressional Budget Office has also estimated that millions more Americans would become uninsured as a result.​


Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles