U.S. Rep. McSally Fights for Lower Health Care Costs for AZ Seniors, Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today spoke before the House Ways and Means Committee to advocate for her bipartisan legislation, the Halt Tax Increases on the Middle Class and Seniors Act. Rep. McSally’s legislation would repeal a little-known tax increase in the Affordable Care Act and make it easier for families battling high health care costs to deduct those expenses from their taxes.
“Healthcare costs are already high and since 2005 have risen faster than inflation every year except 2008,” Rep. McSally said at a Congressional hearing today. “Additionally, the trend toward rising health insurance deductibles is leaving people exposed to increasing out-of-pocket costs. We should be working to reduce this burden, not making it worse, but that’s not what a hidden tax hike in the Affordable Care Act would do.”
Currently, seniors can deduct out of pocket medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted growth income (AGI) on their taxes. A provision contained in the Affordable Care Act would increase this threshold to 10% on January 1, 2017 for Americans over the age of 65, amounting to a tax increase on seniors. The provision has been in effect on Americans under the age of 65 since 2013.
Rep. McSally introduced her bipartisan bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s provision on September 22, 2015. Taxpayer and seniors advocacy groups supporting the bill include AARP, Americans for Prosperity, 60 Plus, Americans for Tax Reform, the Association of Mature American Citizens, and the National Taxpayers Union.
On October 1, Rep. McSally recognized Loren Thorson, a constituent from Green Valley who originally brought the tax hike to her attention.
“The impetus for this legislation came from one of my constituents from Green Valley, Arizona, Loren Thorson,” Rep. McSally said today. “Tragically, Loren passed away earlier this year, but he knew the importance of raising awareness of this tax hike and was committed to doing what he could to stop it.”