On Friday, Republicans released their final tax bill. I am pleased to tell you that the legislation not only retains the medical expense deduction, but temporarily expands the deduction for two years.
NAELA played a critical role in lobbying to protect this deduction. When the House version of the tax bill was introduced last month, few organizations understood the potential devastating impact this would have on individuals with high medical and long-term care expenses.
NAELA took the lead in educating aging and disability groups about the medical expense deduction, bringing together the voices of many organizations to fight its removal. In addition, using the collective expertise of NAELA members to focus on the impact this would have on the chronically ill, NAELA was able to demonstrate how removal of the medical expense deduction would harm many Americans. This was critical because the average deduction understates its importance in protecting those with catastrophic health costs. Read more about the medical expense deduction.
NAELA educated a range of stakeholders from congressional staff and advocacy organizations to the media. Our advocacy raised into the public consciousness the terrible impact eliminating the deduction would have on individuals in nursing homes and families of children with disabilities. This recognition was a key factor in saving the deduction.
As practitioners, our ability to help our clients is only as good as the laws we have. That’s why advocating to protect good law and improve others is so critical to NAELA’s mission.
Thank you to all of the members who provided stories demonstrating how the medical expense deduction is critical to the lives of many Americans, informed others in the community, and called their member of Congress on this issue. Your continued support will be needed in the months and years to come.
Hyman G. Darling, CELA, CAP