The Republican Tax Plan: Tax Cuts for the Rich, Higher Medical Expenses for Everyone Else
By Ghert Abbott
November 21, 2017
Here now is a rundown of the three components of the latest Republican healthcare plan:
1. Individual Mandate Elimination. The Senate’s tax bill eliminates the individual mandate. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that eliminating the mandate, the machinery of which helps many people acquire healthcare, will cause 13 million people to lose their coverage and raise health insurance premiums by approximately 10%. This is effectively a hidden tax increase on working and middle class families that will be used to pay for corporate tax cuts.
2. Medicaid and Medicare Cuts. On October 19th the Republican House and Senate passed a budget resolution formally declaring their intent to cut roughly one trillion dollars from Medicaid and nearly half a trillion from Medicare. Republican leaders claim that these programs are financially unsustainable. Of course these claims are utterly absurd, given that the House and Senate are planning to add 1.5 trillion dollars to the Federal deficit in order to finance tax cuts for large corporations and the super-wealthy. But once these tax cuts are in place, the deficit will be massively increased, and this increased deficit will then be used to justify the proposed Medicaid and Medicare cuts.
3. The Medical Expenses Deduction. Under current law, individuals can deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 10 percent their adjusted gross yearly income. Many Americans use this deduction to help afford vital doctors’ visits, necessary medications, lifesaving surgeries, dental and vision care, addiction treatment, mental health therapy, and long-term medical care for chronically ill, injured or disabled family members. The House tax bill, which the House voted to send to the Senate on November 16, eliminates this deduction, increasing the cost of healthcare in yet another working and middle class tax increase.
I urge every Alaskan who values affordable healthcare and a healthy society to contact Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young and demand they oppose any tax reform bill that contains the above components.
About: Ghert Abbott was born in Ketchikan in 1986. He is a graduate of Ketchikan High School and the University of Alaska Southeast-Ketchikan.
Received November 19, 2017 - Published November 21, 2017
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