The Individual Mandate, tax Credits, and medical deductions
make the lives of disabled Americans easier.
The GOP wants to end them.
If the GOP Senate manages to eliminate the individual mandate provisions of the Affordable Care Act insurance premiums are projected to increase by 10% on average and an estimated 13 million people will lose health insurance. Worse yet, the tax bill raises the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Not only will this destabilize the marketplace, it will also throw people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions into the deep end of "high risk pools" which will, by all accounts, CHARGE CONSUMERS MORE FOR LESS COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE.
When combined with the tax legislation proposed by the House of Representatives, the proposed bills also threaten to harm disabled Americans in other dangerous and sneaky ways.
- The House bill eliminates the medical expense tax deduction that allows people to deduct medical expenses that exceed 10% of their income. The number of people who use this deduction is small, but those who use it, need it. Users tend to be people who have disabilities, chronic health conditions, and other medical conditions who have extraordinarily high healthcare costs. Currently, this provision allows people to deduct expenses for a variety of expenses including treatments, surgeries, medications, and medical travel. All currently available deductions for these necessary and often costly medical procedures and supports would be eliminated.
- The House bill also eliminates the tax credit that helps small businesses provide access to disabled individuals. At present, small businesses can claim a 50% credit each year for expenditures between $250 and $10,250 that increase accessibility as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. No one wins by eliminating Section 44 of the tax code. Not small businesses will now have to foot the entire bill for accomodations themselves and certainly not potential disabled customers who will be forced to shop elsewhere.
- Currently, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit that provides incentives for employers to hire from groups who face increased barriers to employment would also be eliminated. Groups harmed by eliminating this tax credit include employers who seek disadvantaged workers as well as disabled people receiving services from Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Security recipients, veterans, and long-term unemployment compensation recipients who will now find it even harder to find and obtain jobs.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
DREDF and other advocacy organizations are co-sponsoring National Call-in Day on Wednesday, November 29. Please use your zip code at ContactingCongress.org to find out the best way to contact your Senator and contact them to voice your opposition to what amounts to a massive #TaxOnDisability.
"Good day, my name is [your full name]. I'm a constituent of Senator [last name], and I live in [your hometown]. I'm calling to urge the Senator to vote NO on the tax reform bill because it removes the individual mandate and also eliminates tax credits that help pay for the vital supports disabled Americans rely on to work, go to school, and live independently while giving a massive tax cut to already wealthy Americans."
How the proposed GOP tax plan will punish disabled Americans
Author: David Perry for Pacific Standard
Published: November 7
The GOP's tax bill is a war on disabled people
Author: Elizabeth Picciuto for The Daily Beast
Published: November 9
Republican tax plan to get rid of medical expense deduction, used by older, disabled and sick Americans
Author: Emma Court for Market Watch.
Published: November 16
The GOP tax bill will be a health care burden on American families
Author: Janni Lehrer-Stein in The Hill.
Published: November 17
Restructured tax code would unduly burden people with disabilities
Peter Wilderotter for The Hill
Published: November 24