Tax Legislation Could Hurt Older Americans

Medical Expense Deduction and Tax-Exempt Senior Housing Financing on the Chopping Block

Nov. 7, 2017—Major tax reform legislation, H.R. 1, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and will soon come to a vote.

The bill contains two provisions of serious concern to aging services providers and the elders they serve:

  1. Elimination of the tax deduction for medical expenses.
  2. Elimination of tax-exempt financing for the development and preservation of affordable senior housing and life plan communities/CCRCs.

An Action Alert issued Monday by LeadingAge states: “This radical legislation would disproportionately affect older adults, many of whom have higher than average medical costs and/or need affordable housing. Congress needs to hear from you today. Tell your lawmakers to protect the medical expense deduction and tax-exempt financing for senior housing and life plan communities/CCRCs. Tell them older adults need this. Tell them protecting these tax provisions is the right thing to do.”

How You Can Help

  • Call your lawmakers TODAY at 855-837-6894. LeadingAge has set up this toll-free number to connect you directly to their offices.
  • Share this information with friends and family members and suggest that they call as well. The proposed changes will directly impact them.

Steps for Making a Call

  • Dial this toll-free number 855-837-6894.
  • Feel free to use the sample script below when you talk to the staff person who answers the phone.
  • After talking with the staff person, or leaving a voice mail message, do not hang up. The automated system will connect you to your representative and then to each of your senators.

Sample Script

My name is _______ and I am a constituent. I urge Representative/Senator ____ to oppose provisions of H.R. 1, tax reform legislation that would eliminate the medical expense deduction.

Also, please preserve tax-exempt financing for the development and preservation of affordable senior housing and retirement communities, which would be eliminated under H.R. 1.

I hope Representative/Senator ____ will stand up for older adults and protect these crucial tax benefits for seniors and middle-income families.