WASHINGTON, DC—Today AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond released the following statement in response to the U.S. House passage of the tax bill:
“AARP is disappointed by the tax bill that the House passed earlier today because it is harmful to millions of Americans age 65-plus. The Congressional Budget Office has stated that the large deficits created by H.R. 1 will result in a $25 billion cut to Medicare (absent additional Congressional action). AARP estimates H.R. 1 will raise taxes on 1.2 million seniors next year alone. Millions more older Americans will see tax increases in the future, or at best, no tax relief at all.
“As Congress continues to debate tax legislation, we urge that the medical expense deduction be retained at the 7.5% income threshold for older tax filers. Nearly three-quarters of tax filers who claim the medical expense deduction are age 50 or older and live with a chronic health condition or illness. Seventy percent of filers who claim this deduction have income below $75,000. Congress should also retain the standard deduction for the elderly, which helps reduce tax liability and can help seniors avoid a tax increase.
“We also urge Congress to assist working family caregivers by creating a new, non-refundable tax credit to offset the often high out-of-pocket costs associated with caring for a loved one.
“Lastly, we strongly urge Congress to reject adding a provision in the tax bill that will lead to higher premium costs in the individual insurance market, as well as 13 million Americans losing their health coverage, including 2 million Americans who would lose employer-sponsored coverage.”
“AARP urges both the House and the Senate to work on a bipartisan basis to enact tax legislation that better meets the needs of older Americans and the nation. We stand ready to work with Congress toward that end.”
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.