National Down Syndrome Congress

THANKSGIVING RECESS ACTION ALERT: URGE YOUR SENATORS TO VOTE NO ON THE TAX CUTS & JOBS ACT
THANKSGIVING RECESS ACTION ALERT: URGE YOUR SENATORS TO VOTE NO ON THE TAX CUTS & JOBS ACT

Happy Thanksgiving from the National Down Syndrome Congress Policy & Advocacy Team! We hope you enjoy the holiday with your family and friends. As advocates, our work is never done. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act next week, right after the Thanksgiving recess. We urge you to take a few minutes to contact your Senators and urge them to vote NO on the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Please call, email and take the opportunity to engage with them and their staff at public events over the recess such as parades and town hall meetings.

Background

On November 17, the House of Representatives passed its version of a tax bill.  The Senate is prepared to act on its bill right after they return from Thanksgiving recess the week of Nov. 27.  Both bills are extremely harmful to people with disabilities. A conference committee may have to work out the differences between the bills, meaning that provisions in either bill could end up in a final tax bill.  Both bills are harmful because they:
  • Increase the deficit significantly to provide tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Americans and corporations.
  • Lead to cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, and other critical programs for people with disabilities in order to reduce the deficits and debts incurred by tax cuts.
 
While the House tax bill does not directly cut Medicaid, the actions it takes will have the same or even worse effect on Medicaid and other services and supports for people with disabilities.
 
The House passed a tax bill that has many provisions that harm people with disabilities and their families by eliminating the following tax deductions and credits:
 
  • Deduction for high medical expenses, which is critical to many people with disabilities and their families
  • A $2,400 tax credit businesses can get when hiring someone with a disability
  • A $5,000 tax credit for businesses that make their businesses accessible to people with disabilities (Architectural Barriers credit)
  • The incentive to contribute to non-profit agencies that often provide support for people with disabilities and their families (charitable giving)
 
The Senate has proposed a bill that is even worse. It includes a provision to repeal the individual mandate to obtain health insurance. The individual mandate is a central part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which greatly benefits people with disabilities by eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions, banning annual and lifetime limits, prohibiting discrimination based on health status, and much more. Repealing the individual mandate will:
 
  • Result in almost 14 million people losing health care coverage (according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office).         
  • Increase health insurance premiums for those purchasing coverage on the exchange by at least 10% for the unforeseeable future (also according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office);·         
  • The CBO analysis also says the repeal of the individual mandate will save approximately $330 billion (because of the large number that will not be insured) over ten years.  This money will be used to pay for a making the corporate tax cuts permanent and to cut to the tax rate for corporations and individuals on the upper income scale.
 
We have a VERY short timeline to stop this very harmful and unpopular legislation. Please take action NOW!


Thank you for your advocacy efforts!
The NDSC Policy & Advocacy Team
 

We encourage you to stay engaged in our advocacy efforts by: (1) Registering for NDSC Action Alerts- click "Quick Sign Up" (http://www.ndsccenter.org/political-advocacy/take-action-stay-informed/); (2) Subscribing to the NDSC Policy & Advocacy Newsline (http://www.ndsccenter.org/stay-up-to-date-with-ndsc-news/) and (3) "liking" us on social media (https://www.facebook.com/dsadvocates/ and https://twitter.com/policyupdates).


 
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