Arlington, VA – The following is a statement from James Firman, NCOA President and CEO, on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a serious threat to the health and economic security of millions of older Americans. Republican leaders have made it clear that they plan to drastically cut lifeline programs – including Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, and perhaps even Social Security – to pay for these enormous, fiscally irresponsible $1.5 trillion deficit-funded cuts.
“All Americans pay into Medicare throughout their working years; Medicaid is critical for low-income seniors and those needing long-term care; and the Older Americans Act supports community programs that enable seniors to remain independent in their own homes. With millions of baby boomers qualifying for Medicare and Social Security every year, this proposal jeopardizes the nation’s ability to keep its promises to its citizens.
“The bill also includes an even more immediate hit to seniors’ pocketbooks by eliminating the Medical Expense Deduction. This would impose significant additional costs on approximately five million taxpayers over age 65 who use the deduction to offset skyrocketing medical expenses.
“The debate over tax reform is critically important to Americans of all ages, who need time to understand how they and their families would be affected. Congress should not rush to pass a bill within artificial deadlines. Bipartisan hearings with tax experts and comprehensive analyses by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation and Congressional Budget Office must precede any vote on this proposal. Americans deserve a transparent process that includes careful, well-informed deliberation, not a rush to judgment on a bill crafted behind closed doors.
“The National Council on Aging will work with Congress on sensible tax reform that is beneficial to Americans of all ages, without threatening drastic cuts to essential programs that taxpayers rely on for their health and economic security.”
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.