West Health: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act May Put Vulnerable Seniors at Risk


SAN DIEGO AND WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 6, 2017 – Dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services, West Health has concerns about the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act unveiled last week by House Republicans.

“While we believe tax reform is needed, both the short- and long-term implications of this proposed legislation on older adults are far from clear. However, there are provisions that raise concerns,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health. “For example, the plan calls for the elimination of the medical expense deduction, which could actually mean a tax increase for older Americans with significant disabilities paying the high costs of essential long-term services and supports from their own resources. This would be unfortunate. How can Congress increase the burden for some of the oldest and most frail and vulnerable who often struggle to afford the many expenses associated with long-term care?”

“We also have concerns that a tax cut of the size proposed in the legislation may eventually impact critical programs including Medicare and Medicaid, which rely on tax revenue for their stability and funding. We must not rush through this legislation for the sake of short-term tax relief. We must have rigorous debate and analysis, and understand as fully as possible what the tax changes we are considering today would mean for tomorrow,” Lyford said.

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About the West Health Institute and 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.

Press contact:
Tim Ingersoll
tpingersoll@westhealth.org
(858) 412-8727 or (619) 871-3769 (cell)