Update and Call to Action on Tax Reform

Posted Thursday, Nov 16, 2017

The House of Representatives and Senate are each working on tax reform legislation.   If enacted, the bills would make a number of significant changes to our nation’s tax code and some of these policies would impact health care. 

Regardless of the implications of the other parts of the bill, these provisions will potentially increase costs and decrease access for people with CHDs and other high-cost, chronic conditions.  We need everyone to call their Senators and Representative and express our concerns about the tax reform proposals.

These are the provisions of particular concern for the CHD community:

  •  Repeal of the individual mandate: The Senate bill would repeal the ACA’s individual mandate. Senators support this as a way of achieving a key ACA repeal goal while saving the government money (since fewer people will receive government subsidies for their health insurance), which can offset other costs in the bill.  But, the Congressional Budget Office estimates this will result in 13 million fewer people having health insurance coverage.  This will further destabilize the health insurance market, significantly raising premiums for people with CHDs and others who need to maintain coverage.  The House bill does not include the repeal, though it could be added as an amendment or in a House-Senate conference agreement. 
  •  Repeal of the Medical Expenses Deduction: The House bill would repeal the current tax policy that allows individuals to deduct the amount of total medical expenses that exceed 10% percent of a person’s gross adjusted income. Repealing this deduction would increase costs for individuals with significant medical bills.  The Senate bill does not yet include this provision.   

First, go to this website to get the phone numbers for your Members of Congress.  Then call their offices and use these bullet points to guide your comments.  Feel free to add any personal comments about these proposals. 

  •  I am one of your constituents, and I am calling to discuss tax reform.
  • I/my loved one is affected by congenital heart disease, which means that I have very high medical expenses.
  • Please reject a tax reform proposal that repeals the individual mandate, since that will destabilize the health insurance market and increase costs for people who need insurance like me.
  • Please maintain the deduction for medical expenses. Repealing this provision would increase costs for people with high medical bills.

 ACHA is continuing to monitor the progress of tax reform and will update the community as the bills progress.