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We Know You’re Tired, but It’s No Time to Take a Vacation

November 28, 2017

An upcoming vote in the Senate — possibly this week — on the Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act proposal will mean changes to the health and financial well-being of older adults and family caregivers. And not in a good way.

Some key points to consider for your own health and financial well-being as a caregiver and for those relatives or friends for whom you provide assistance:

  • There will be a loss of coverage for 13 million Americans as the ACA health coverage mandate is repealed. Those over the age of 50 and shopping for coverage in the individual market, premiums will be higher. For three million individuals between the ages of 50 and 65, coverage could be at risk as plans drop out of the market.
  • The tax proposal results in a $1.5 trillion revenue cut. Medicare and Medicaid will see cuts, cost sharing, and higher premiums. Medicaid services such as home and community-based services and nursing home care will be at risk.
  • Medicare and other programs that benefit older adults could see a $25 billion cut as early as 2018 under sequestration. As federal funding for Medicaid is cut, revenues for state and local health care services will force states to restrict eligibility and cut services. Even now, in some states the wait list for Medicaid home and community-based services, such as personal care services, are years long.
  • The elimination of the medical expense tax deduction for families who are paying for long-term care or in-home services out-of-pocket, threaten the financial well-being of family caregivers — the majority of those paying for these services.

There are plenty of other reasons not to support this tax plan, like tax cuts for corporations are permanent while temporary for individuals. Or for lower income families, taxes will rise over the course of 10 years. For family caregivers, the impact will be dramatic as benefits once counted on will be taken away to pay for tax cuts for corporations and for the very wealthy.

This is the week to call your Senators and urge them to Vote NO on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Congressional switchboard number is: (202) 224-3121.

Contact your Senator directly here: www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.

Now is the time to make your voices heard on this important issue.

Recommended reading:

Justice in Aging: Congress Tax Proposals Endanger Health Care for Older Adults
NY Times: Ending Medical Tax Break Could be a “Gut Punch” to the Middle Class
USA Today: GOP tax bill is just another way to repeal health care. Will coverage ever be safe?
PBS News Hour: The Senate’s Impact on the Rich and the Poor