National Health Council Statement on Reconciled Tax Bill

The following statement is from NHC’s Chief Executive Officer, Marc Boutin: 

While there is some good that has come out of the reconciliation process, there are some major problems in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that we just can’t ignore. By eliminating the individual mandate, Congress has created a backdoor for gutting the Affordable Care Act, endangering insurance markets, increasing premiums, and resulting in the loss of coverage for millions of Americans.

In addition, by doubling the standard deduction, Congress has put the entire nonprofit community at risk. According to a recent study by George Washington University, at least 220,000 jobs are at risk because taxpayers are likely to donate less to nonprofit organizations because of this change. And organizations estimate $20 billion in lost revenue, disproportionately impacting the health and social services sectors.

Finally, the budget impact will likely trigger automatic cuts to Medicare and social safety net programs, impacting the health and wellbeing of Americans and widening a gap that can’t be filled by the shrinking nonprofit sector.

We do appreciate this agreement removes some of the most harmful provisions included in the House bill. By maintaining the medical expense deduction, those with chronic diseases and disabilities will be more able to afford life-saving treatments. And while we do not like seeing a 50 percent reduction of the Orphan Drug Tax Credit, we are pleased it is not fully repealed, which would have a chilling effect on research for rare disease treatments.

The NHC stands committed to ensure those who need affordable health care get it and that a vibrant nonprofit sector exists to provide services people need the most.