Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

U.S. Rep. McSally Introduces Bill to Protect AZ Seniors, Middle Class

February 14, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today introduced legislation, the Halt Tax Increases on the Middle Class and Seniors Act, a bill to reverse a tax hike contained in the Affordable Care Act. The idea for the bill came from a constituent, Green Valley resident Loren Thorson, who sadly passed away last year. Last Congress, the bill passed the House 261 – 147 with 25 Democrats supporting.

“First, Obamacare raised taxes on middle class families,” said Congresswoman McSally. “Now, seniors are being handed the bill for the failing law’s unsustainable costs. Americans deserve better. My thanks to Congresswoman Sinema for joining again in this fight to protect Arizonans. I look forward to working with her to get this bill through Congress.”

“Arizonans continue to struggle with increasing health care costs,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “This commonsense legislation allows Arizona seniors and hardworking families to deduct more of their out-of-pocket health care expenses, a relief sorely needed during tough economic times. I will continue working with Congresswoman McSally and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to lower health care costs for Arizonans.”

“Many Arizona seniors already face high out of pocket medical costs. Increasing this tax deduction threshold on them will only cost them more,” said Dana M. Kennedy, AARP Arizona State Director. “AARP is proud of the bipartisan work of Representative McSally and Representative Sinema to preserve this important medical deduction and help ensure seniors in Arizona with high health care costs do not also get hit with tax hikes.”

Before the Affordable Care Act, the IRS allowed Americans with high health care costs to deduct certain out-of-pocket expenses from their taxes. Before 2017, seniors could deduct out-of-pocket medical costs that exceeded 7.5 percent of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Starting this year, however, the law increased the threshold to 10% of a person’s AGI – effectively lowering how much can be deducted at the end of the year and increasing how much seniors will pay in taxes. The tax hike took effect on Americans under 65 starting in 2013.

According to recent data from the IRS, more than 8.5 million people use this deduction, with 84 percent earning less than $100,000 per year and 49 percent earning less than $50,000 per year. Currently seniors make up 56 percent of all claimants of the medical expense deduction.

The Halt Tax Increases on the Middle Class and Seniors Act reverses this increase on both seniors and Americans under 65.

Read the full bill text HERE