Three ways Congress’s tax cut bill could impact people with disabilities

Both the U.S. House and Senate are working on bills that would make changes to how much taxes people pay, and would lower the amount of money collected (revenue) from taxpayers.

The Tax legislation would eliminate two existing tax credits important to people with disabilities and their families. Under the bills, the government would collect far less tax money than it needs to maintain the current level of spending on Medicaid and other programs that help people with disabilities.

The House may vote as early as this Thursday (November 16th) on their tax bill, with the Senate to follow in the next couple weeks.

House tax bill eliminates the Medical expense credit

When a person has medical expenses greater than 10% of their adjusted gross income, they can use this tax credit. 9 million households took this deduction, and it can be crucial for families covering expenses not covered by insurance, high out-of-pocket medical costs, or paying for nursing home costs. Older adults with high cost medical needs, people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions, and families with children who have high cost medical needs and disabilities benefit from the credit. (More about this tax credit)

Both tax bills eliminate the Rare disease credit

This credit reimburses drug developers for half of their research costs on treatments meant for rare diseases. Supporters say this credit is one of several incentives that have led to the approval of more than 500 new and much-needed drugs for those rare diseases that each affect fewer than 200,000 people. (More about this tax credit)

Both bill’s large tax cuts threaten Medicaid

Both tax bills increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion. This means that the federal government is not collecting enough money to pay for existing programs and services (like Medicaid—which funds Family Care, IRIS, BadgerCare, Children’s Long Term Supports, the ForwardHealth Card and other Wisconsin programs). National advocates are very concerned that tax cuts, which reduce the amount of money the government has to spend, will result in cutting Medicaid and other programs and services that help people with disabilities.
National advocates point to both the President’s and House budget, which include more than $1 Trillion dollars from Medicaid specifically. The tax bill would add another $1.5 trillion gap in funding, and analysts identify Medicaid spending as one of the likely targets for additional cuts.

Suggested Action Steps
Call Senators Johnson (202) 224–5323 and Baldwin (202) 224–5653 and your Congressional Representative. Milwaukee area representatives are: Congresswoman Gwen Moore at 202–225–4572, Congressman Paul Ryan at (202) 225–3031, or Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner at (202) 225–5101

  • Share your concerns about how the current tax proposals could cut Medicaid and other programs you care about and use.

  • If you or your family member has a rare disease, tell your Senator and Representative how this credit has or could result in a better quality of life for people with rare diseases.

  • If you or your family uses the Medical Expense Credit, tell your Representative how this credit benefits you and what it would mean to you if it was no longer an option.

Back to top
Back to Health

Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on November 16, 2017

Legal Information |  Designed and built by Emergency Digital. | Hosted by Steadfast Networks