Hours after exit polls suggested health care was among the most important issues for Election Day voters in Virginia and New Jersey, lawmakers in the House’s primary tax-writing committee debated language in the GOP’s tax reform bill that would strip medical cost deductibility from the tax code.
The third day of the House Ways and Means Committee’s tax reform markup kicked off Wednesday morning with the introduction of an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.
Larson’s proposed tweak to the tax plan would preserve a medical expense deduction that’s included in the current tax code and allows Americans to write off certain medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of their gross adjusted income. The GOP’s measure, which is widely expected to eventually clear the committee and proceed to a full House vote, would strip away that deduction.
“This is a direct assault on the elderly. It’s no wonder the AARP has come out so strongly against this,” Larson said Wednesday. “This is devastating to individual families.”
For the second day in a row, Larson ended up getting into a heated exchange with his colleagues across the aisle, several of whom argued the deduction was only used by a small subset of people and that the lower tax rates and alleged pro-growth nature of the bill would be better for seniors and those with medical burdens than the current tax code.