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Society Responds to Proposed Medical Expense Deduction Repeal in H.R. 1

November 8, 2017

Following the release of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (H.R. 1), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is urging Congress to oppose the proposed elimination of the Medical Expense Deduction in the House bill. 

Eliminating the medical expense deduction would force many families affected by MS into financial devastation,” says President and CEO of the National MS Society Cyndi Zagieboylo. “MS is a chronic, expensive disease—with annual direct medical expenses averaging as much as five times more for people living with the disease compared to others. The Society sincerely urges Congress to maintain the medical expense deduction which has helped many people and families stay afloat and pay for critical health care costs and long-term services and supports.”

MS Activist Stephen Trattner of California shares, “My 2016 1040 itemized medical deductions totaled $75,000 for medical expenses not covered by my insurance. I am paying out-of-pocket nearly $75,000 a year for a full-time (24/7) in-home caregiver who helps me maintain a somewhat decent quality of life. Due to my MS, I need help in almost all daily activities including getting in and out of bed, bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals, going to the bathroom, and getting out of the house. I am wheelchair bound and can't walk or stand without assistance. As a retired rocket scientist having worked for 30 years for a nonprofit government-funded think tank I am reliant on my $75,000 a year pension, social security benefits, supplemented by having to use part of my meager savings to try to make ends meet. Removing the itemized medical deductions as proposed by the Republican tax bill would spell financial disaster for me.”

On November 8, 2017 The National MS Society joined 37 patient, disability and consumer organizations to oppose the House tax bill's proposed elimination of the deduction and 61 organizations in a letter to the Senate - urging Senators to protect the medical expense deduction as they release their version of the tax bill. The Los Angeles Times covered Stephen’s story in their column, “Killing the medical expense deduction will hit the middle class – and hard.” 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


© 2020 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and our Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.