Tax Bill

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On October 19, the Senate passed the 2018 Budget Resolution. This marks the beginning of a process that will allow Congress to move forward with legislation that is expected to contain massive tax cuts for wealthy individuals and large corporations, and that will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. (You can learn more about the budget process here.)

On November 2, House Republicans released their tax bill.  Here is a section by section summary.  The good news is that thanks to your strong advocacy over the last six months, the bill does not directly contain cuts to Medicaid, at least for now. However, there are two continuing risks to Medicaid.  Cuts to Medicaid could be added in the bill if some of the revenue-generating tax provisions are taken out due to opposition.  Or, cuts to Medicaid will likely come on the heels of passage of this tax bill.  President Trump and Republican leadership in the House and Senate have all said that Medicaid must be cut to address the existing federal deficit, and this tax bill would increase the deficit by an additional $1.5 trillion.  The recent budget proposed by the President and passed by both the House and Senate proposed more than $1 trillion in Medicaid cuts (and nearly $500 billion from Medicare).  Read more about the tax bill’s threat to healthcare here and a statement from the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities here.

On November 9, Senate Republicans released their tax reform plan, one week after the House released their plan.  On November 16th, the House passed their tax bill and on December 2nd, the Senate passed their tax bill.  On December 5th, the bill was sent to a conference committee to work out the differences.

 On December 15th, the conference committee voted on a final tax bill.  The Senate and House approved the bill on December 20th, and President Trump signed it into law.

Just like the bills passed by the Senate and House, the final bill contains massive tax cuts for wealthy individuals and large corporations that put Medicaid and other programs at risk. These tax cuts will cost nearly $1.5 trillion dollars over the next decade, and Congress has said that they next plan to cut Medicaid, Medicare and other critical programs to address the increased federal deficit.  The bill also repeals key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will cause millions of people to lose insurance and premiums to increase, and has several other provisions will hurt people with disabilities..   

Our Biggest Concerns with the final bill:

  • Massive tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans and corporations; Congress has said it will address the increased federal deficit by next cutting Medicaid, Medicare and other critical services 
  • Repealing the ACA’s individual mandate will leave hundreds of thousands with disabilities without insurance, with higher premiums, and could undermine pre-existing condition protections. [learn more here]
  • Unless Congress intervenes, the tax bill will trigger an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare and other programs that benefit people with disabilities through the “pay-as-you-go” or PAYGO rule [learn more here and here
  • It reduces a tax credit for the development of drugs for rare diseases (known as the Orphan Drug credit)

Because of your strong advocacy, the final bill does NOT contain some harmful provisions that were included in the House and/or Senate bills:

  • The final bill keeps the medical expense deduction (eliminated in the House bill)
  • It keeps a tax incentive for businesses to hire people with disabilities (eliminated in the House bill)
  • It keeps the tax credit that helps small businesses to make their businesses more accessible to people with disabilities. (eliminated in the House bill)

Now that Congress has passed this tax bill, we need to make clear that we will fight against any cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and other critical programs to pay for this tax bill. Please, take action today!  

What Can You Do?

  • Call your representatives and urge them to protect Medicaid. Tell them how important Medicaid is for people with disabilities.

Resources on the Final Bill

The Tax Bill is Bad for American’s Health, Families USA 12/15/17

Chart of major provisions of the tax bill 12/20/17

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is a #TaxOnDisability, Rooted in Rights 12/16/17

Fact Sheet:  The Top 5 Reasons the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is Bad for People with Disabilities
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities:  11/28/17 (updated 12/18/17)

Congressional Budget Office Estimate 12/15/17

 

Resources on the Senate and House tax bills:

Fact Sheet:  The Republican Tax Plan is a Tax on Disability 
Center for American Progress: 11/27/17

Congressional Tax Proposals Endanger Health Care for Older Adults
Justice In Aging: 11/20/17

House GOP Tax Plan & Congressional Budget Plan Comparison 
American’s for Tax Fairness: 11/19/17 

Comparison of House & Senate Bills Provisions Most Relevant to Disability Community 
CCD Fiscal Policy Task Force: 11/14/17

Principles for Tax Reform
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities: 9/22/17

The Republican Tax Scheme Harms Older Americans & People with Disabilities 
U.S. Senator Bob Casey: 11/09/17

Talking Points on House Tax Bill
American’s for Tax Fairness: 11/19/17

How Eliminating The Medical Expense Deduction Could Increase Medicaid Spending
Health Affairs Blog: 11/14/17

Republican Plans to Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Hurt People with Disabilities 
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: 10/18/17

A $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Could Trigger Entitlement Cuts This Year – or Later  
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: 10/18/17

Impact on All Americans

Vast Majority of Americans Would Likely Lose From Senate GOP’s $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts, Once They’re Paid For
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: 10/4/17

Research report: A Preliminary Analysis of the Unified Framework
Tax Policy Center: 9/29/17

Benefits of GOP-Trump Framework Tilted Toward the Richest Taxpayers in Each State
Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy: 10/4/17

 

Statements

IM Coalition Letter

CCD Statement on the Senate Bill (11/17/17)

CCD Statement on the House and Senate Bills (11/9/17)

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