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Congress Could Help Millions of Patients With a Simple Tax Deduction, Senior Group Says

election 2018 government congress support tax deduction seniorCongress could help millions of patients with a simple tax deduction provided for in a bill that could be passed before the lame duck session ends, according to a conservative seniors group.

The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) is touting the Good Samaritan Charitable Physicians’ Services Act as a way to incentivize doctors to offer pro-bono health care to Medicaid-eligible individuals through a charitable tax deduction for the work they do. The savings to the federal government would be in the billions, according to AMAC.

The bill would apply to the roughly 73 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, AMAC’s founder Dan Weber told The Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.

“We’re trying to come up with alternative solutions that work in the free enterprise system,” Weber told TheDCNF.

AMAC representatives are in Washington, D.C., in December to persuade lawmakers to get behind the bill.

Republican Florida Rep. Daniel Webster introduced the bill in May.

“Americans deserve a healthcare system that that will ensure access to health coverage for all, rein in costs, and allow our health care professionals to improve health care delivery through innovation,” Webster told TheDCNF in a statement Tuesday. “This bill is a creative, common-sense solution that ensures our most vulnerable Americans have access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a price they can afford.”

The bill would encourage lower-income people to form relationships with primary care physicians, AMAC senior counselor Bob Carlstrom told TheDCNF Tuesday. As a side effect, patients would be more likely to visit doctors before their ailments become too serious. Many patients put off seeking medical help until they have no choice but to make emergency room visits, which can be 20 times as expensive as physicians’ office visits.

The bill would save $6.6 billion a year in Medicaid payouts for emergency room visits alone, according to AMAC’s calculations. That’s if 7 million people who made an emergency room visit at the 2016 average cost of $1,917 instead went to a physician for a visit costing roughly $100.

Of course, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of billions of dollars (pushing one trillion) the federal government spent per year on health care as of 2015, according to the Tax Policy Center.

“All that’s required under present laws— it’s just a simple gap — is to permit physicians to claim a deduction,” Carlstrom told TheDCNF. “This enables them to get that deduction within their own offices … It provides greater relief to the states who are struggling with Medicaid, and it also provides an antidote to the need to expand Medicaid.”

Many physicians can and do provide pro-bono work through nonprofit clinics, Carlstrom told TheDCNF. But the bill facilitates “classic” patient-doctor relationships that can contribute to better outcomes by replacing a complicated process. To get any sort of tax deduction, physicians must go through a “ridiculous” process that involves billing patients for the services both parties already know they can’t afford, he told TheDCNF.

Weber said he has already received positive reactions to the bill from many physicians who are members of AMAC.

While in Washington, D.C., AMAC also plans to talk to lawmakers about broader goals, like chipping away at the national debt by encouraging smarter health care spending.

“We think it’s a horrible thing to do for our children and grandchildren to leave them with this overwhelming debt that is going to have to be paid off,” Weber told TheDCNF.

Weber describes AMAC as a conservative alternative to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which he felt did not represent him for many reasons, including AARP’s pro-Obamacare stance. His organization was founded in 2007 and now has 1.5 million members, he said.

Other advocacy groups are in Washington, D.C., this week pushing for the lame duck lawmakers to pass certain bills. For example, business advocates are making a final push to the lame duck Congress to delay an Affordable Care Act tax on health insurance providers that they say will hurt small businesses.

Passing a flurry of bills could be complicated after votes were postponed for a week Monday due to the passing of former President George H.W. Bush on Nov. 30. The next votes will be on Dec. 10, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office said.

TheDCNF contacted all of the Democrats on the House Subcommittee on Health about Webster’s bill but did not receive any responses at the time of publication.

Reprinted with permission from - The Daily Caller - by Evie Fordham

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H.E.Butler M.D., F.A.C.S.
1 year ago

Shouldn’t Congress and our states/commonwealths adopt Virginia’s tax-credit (I) for treating indigent people?
(1). Donations of Professional Services, Code of Virginia, available online

Betty Hicks
2 years ago

Medical bills are outrageous and prescription drugs are over priced. We also need a simple tax system. a value added tax would be ideal that way everyone pays their share of taxes, illegals, tourist, plus all those people who live on welfare. make an exception for food with no tax. The system is already in place as the states collect sales tax. Just think no sweating the April 15th deadline anymore and we are never sure we have them filled out correctly.

Cara Mercer
2 years ago

What about people who have NO health insurance? Neither my husband or myself have had insurance for almost 3 years now due to the cost. Almost 2x as much as out house payment, I see a doctor that does not accept insurance and am on a monthly payment. Seems fine until you need testing outside of his scope of practice. So, again, my health suffers. We need a plan to help folks like us, also.

Roseann Riddle
2 years ago

Great idea. As the wife of a physician, I know he would have been able to give away more of his services if he could have deducted them, instead of having to take more paying patients to earn his living.

Tawana
2 years ago

Seniors don’t need for their money to be given to illegals and their kids. If you want to help Seniors, HELP SENIORS!!! I cannot afford 2 of my prescriptions which are $50 each after Medicare pays their part. So I don’t get them and don’t take them, though I am supposed to do so. Without the Medicare part paying they would be $350.00!!!

Toni K Weaver
2 years ago

This is all well and good for those on Medicaid. But those who don’t qualify for Medicaid ,what about them?

wolverine70
2 years ago

Seems to be a sensible proposal.

Garla
2 years ago

Our Congress and Senate contain many members from both parties that do not give one DAMN about the people who put them in office. They care for themselves only.

Edward Swisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Garla

I’m from Missouri
..and couldn’t agree more

Robert Messmer
2 years ago

Quote: “To get any sort of tax deduction, physicians must go through a “ridiculous” process that involves billing patients for the services both parties already know they can’t afford, he told TheDCNF.” You do not get a deduction, you simply report your actual income. If the patient does not pay, you do not have income. Really a quite simple process. It applies to work billed for and for pro bono services in every business and has been in effect since 1913.

BEV
2 years ago

NO BENEFITS TO SCUMBAG ILLEGALS!!! SIMPLE SOLUTION-JUST SAY NO!!!!THESE PEOPLE TO OUR COUNTRY TO HAVE THEIR LITTLE BASTARDS AND AMERICANS ARE STUCK PAYING FOR THEM. WE NEED
TO GET RID OF BLEEDING HEART LIBS! I’M LIVE IN NEW JERSEY-EXCONGRESSMAN LEONARD LANCE
SUPPORTS DACA-EVEN THO I USUALLY VOTE REPUBLICAN,I STARTED A CAMPAIGN AGAINST HIM. THE
SCUMBAG NEVER ADMITTED HE SUPPORTED DACA DURING HIS CAMPAIGN,I ALONG WITH A FEW
FRIENDS MADE VOTERS AWARE – HE LOST!!!

James Robertson
2 years ago
Reply to  BEV

If we want to stop this we must do something about the liberal misinterpretation q the16th amendment and so called birthright citizenship! Even the man who wrote the bill said that it was meant to right the onjustices of slavery and NOT to giv citizenship any persons who are rewarded by committing the criminal act of covertly crossing our borders in time to plop down a child. Thereby, gaining unfettered access to all the rights and benefits (especially benefits without ever paying taxes ) nd protections of our laws given to us by our constitution. Which is given to us God!!

Keith H
2 years ago

You want to help Seniors ? Stop giving our Social Security to everybody on Planet Earth !!! For Heaven Sake !!! Social Security is for Seniors ONLY.!!! No one else should get it. And if you don’t contribute, you don’t get any. I’m 62 now and I’ve been paying for since I was 16. By the time I start at 66 and 4 months. There won’t be any. You know that theft started by a bunch of Libtard Loser Dumocrats way back when. Those Greedy Commie Loving Libtards !!! That Cancerous growth we can’t seem to get rid of. These parasites that want to get rid of Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer, Christmas, anything that resembles America that We Seniors grew up with. It’s time We start pushing back against these Freaks and Pervs !!! “MERRY CHRISTMAS” everyone and may God Bless You And Keep You, AMEN ??

Mamaw5
2 years ago
Reply to  Keith H

Amen! And God Bless us everyone! Merry Christmas!

wolverine70
2 years ago
Reply to  Keith H

Who do you feel is getting is that should not be? Dependent children get it on a Seniors Account. Widows, the same way. Disabled people must pass strict eligibility criteria and are paid benefits on their own record as they must have at least 40 credits to qualify. SSI, while administered by the Social Security Administration is not paid from the Social Security Trust funds or Social Security revenue, but from general tax revenues. So, no one is getting it unless they did contribute or are a dependent of someone who did, and then only for very specific reasons.

Edward Swisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Keith H

Amen to that. Time to start putting pressure on our Congressmen to start putting the monet back

Norman
2 years ago
Reply to  Keith H

Well said.

Tracy Lee
2 years ago

Make a simple change to the tax code, to allow a tax credit or deduction for the cost of nutritional supplements. Preventing or delaying chronic diseases will save even more money than creating cheaper ways to treat diseases.

MmeMoxie
2 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Lee

How are you going to prevent Diabetes? Or Graves’ Disease? Or Hashimoto’s Disease? Or Multiple Sclerosis? Or any other chronic disease that the patient can absolutely do nothing to prevent? Please, be realistic in your requests and please, know something about medicine that would be beneficial.

Many of the chronic diseases are not preventable … Yes, there are some, like drinking alcohol to prevent damage to the liver … However, a large number of routine medications can cause liver damage, as well!

Let’s not forget smoking … Yes, smoking can lead to cancer of the lung … However, not ALL smokers get cancer of the lung … But, most smokers will eventually get COPD (Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease/Disorder) or Emphysema or Chronic Bronchitis … But there are quite a few NON-smokers who get the same chronic disorders, as well as cancer of the lung.

Then there is High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease … These 2 conditions tend to be what is called Familial or to run within families. Diabetes tends to do this and Heart Disease runs in almost all Diabetics. Both of them are Chronic diseases that just cannot be prevented.

So, your “liberal” ideas will not work. I am a Constitutional Conservative and I know from over 25 years working in the surgical field … As much as medicine does try to help patients prevent them from getting “chronic” diseases … It is just not possible. Therefore learning to have the capability to treat chronic diseases in a cheaper way or method … Is to me, the better option.

Neil Davie
2 years ago

This seems a good start to decrease taxpayer support of healthcare while giving more care benefits.

Brian C.
2 years ago

Sounds great on t he surface but I agree with Dan. When are people going to figure out that a tax deduction is nothing more than a discount amounting to your current tax rate. Whatever it is, is still costing you money. Another clever redistribution – those rich doctors should pay more by giving away their time free. A tax credit would spread it across the entire tax base. Still redistribution but at least across an all inclusive base.

KL O'Connell
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian C.

If a plumber or electrician or mechanic is not required to “give” their services for free, I fail to see how a doctor should be required to “give” their services for free. Personally, I do NOT want to be cared for by someone required to give me service. That reduces any incentive for quality service in ANY profession. THIS is the reason forced labor, ie: socialism/communism never works.

Diane
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian C.

Those “rich” doctors gave up their earning power while getting their expensive education. Why should they be required to give away their services for free while often, they are still paying back their student loans.
A tax deduction is an interesting concept for discussion

David Conover
2 years ago

First set tat tax break up for pro bono health care to senior citizens on Medicare. We don’t always have the extra cash for deductibles and co payments or our meds.

Joe Smaha
2 years ago

Great idea

Randy Heikens
2 years ago

Did not realize Amac was “in bed” with Obama on his highly expensive Obamacare plan for the country. NO FRIGGIN THANKS.

joeupyours
2 years ago

you can’t beat a F’ING libTURD demoRAT when it comes to F’ING something up!

Dan W.
2 years ago

If you really want to incent primary care physicians (PCPs) to provide pro-bono treatment in their offices, offer the PCPs a tax credit instead of a tax deduction.

PaulE
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan W.

Exactly and prorate the amount received by the PCP by the total annual number of Medicaid eligible patients served. That way, the PCP would be encouraged to treat more Medicaid eligible patients to receive the maximum allowable credit amount.

Ivan Berry
2 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Sounds as though the meaning of free enterprise is being conflated with “Free” enterprise. But then again, any reduction in taxes is moving in the right direction.
It would be better though if the government would avoid picking favorites, and as in this case, for governments failure in the first place.
Signed: still Grumpy

PaulE
2 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

HI Ivan,

I am not in favor of the AMAC proposal for various reasons. Not the least of which is that it is yet another attempt to further the “government is the solution” progressive narrative both parties and AMAC seem fixated on imposing on us all. What part of simply getting rid of the ACA and just ensuring support of pre-existing conditions at a small surcharge doesn’t AMAC want to understand? (I know…basically everything). I know I am basically speaking to the chorus here with you, as we’ve discussed this subject here for years now.

I was merely agreeing with Dan W that a tax credit makes far more financial sense to a doctor operating a private practice, with a administrative and medical staff to support, rather than a tax deduction. I am sure there will be hundreds of comments tomorrow in full support of anything AMAC is proposing. So we will be in a very small minority. Then again, fiscal and constitutional conservatives no longer make up the vast majority of those posting here anymore.

Ivan Berry
2 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Yes, but our last gasp should be a loud one, as we ride off into the sunset.
True, a credit is less burdensome than a deduction and actually targets the service for reward, but bribing doctors just seems so Democrat or Rino; not a Constitutional conservative action. But oh, you are right, this is AMAC. Sorry to be such a Grump.

PaulE
2 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

You’re not a grump. You just don’t like seeing a supposedly conservative organization pushing obvious progressive solutions any more than I do. HThankfully there are actual conservative organizations out there. They may not sell insurance, but so what? There are more important things, like honesty of purpose, than saving a few bucks on insurance.

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