West Health Applauds Congress for Maintaining Medical Expense Deduction in Tax Bill
West Health Applauds Congress for Maintaining Medical Expense Deduction in Tax Bill; Calls on Congress to Prevent Automatic Cuts to Medicare Impacting All Seniors
SAN DIEGO AND WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 20, 2017 – Dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services, West Health today issued the following statement regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“West Health is pleased to see the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Trump preserves the medical expense deduction, which is particularly important to seniors with long-term needs, disabilities, and chronic illnesses,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health. “This key deduction will assist individuals who have significantly high out-of-pocket medical expenses, including nursing home costs, long-term care insurance premiums, and other medical bills while benefitting families and caregivers as well.”
The medical expense deduction is used by 6.3 million people with incomes below $75,000. Under the bill, filers would be able to deduct medical expenses exceeding 7.5 percent of their income in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, the threshold would return to the current 10 percent level.
“While we support the medical expense deduction, West Health is extremely concerned about the bill’s impact on Medicare recipients, as the program will now be subject to large automatic reductions affecting the payments that doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers receive for treating Medicare patients,” Lyford stated. “Congress must work in a bipartisan manner to mitigate this action, which could have very serious implications for the care vulnerable seniors receive across the nation.”
About West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health includes the nonprofit and nonpartisan Gary and Mary West Health Institute and Gary and Mary West Foundation in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. These organizations are working together toward a shared mission dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. For more information, visit westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.