Federal Tax Reforms Could Hurt National And State Senior Program Funding

Tax cut proposals being considered by Congress would dramatically increase the federal deficit while paving the way for massive spending cuts to health care, social insurance and safety-net programs that serve millions of older adults and caregivers.

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) represents the nation’s 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) that develop and deliver local aging programs and services that support millions of older adults and their caregivers. n4a rejects any tax cut proposals that fail to recognize the fiscal realities of the aging of our nation and would undermine the critical programs and supports necessary to ensure the safety and security of America’s older adults, caregivers and their families. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day and the older adult population expected to hit 20 percent by 2030, all major budget and policy decisions must reflect this reality.

Instead, n4a urges lawmakers to participate in a bipartisan, transparent, thoughtful and balanced approach to the federal budgeting process that realistically addresses the health and long-term care needs of the country’s growing older adult population.

“As lawmakers work toward developing fiscal strategies that serve all Americans—including middle and low-income older adults and those who will soon be—we urge leaders to reject short-term political solutions to long-term problems, and encourage open, public debate over national revenue and spending priorities,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood.

n4a opposes current partisan proposals under consideration in the House and the Senate that would increase the national deficit by $1.5 trillion and allow lawmakers, in the very near future, to slash spending for federal non-defense discretionary programs, including critical aging and disability programs, by $800 billion; reduce Medicare by $473 billion; and slash Medicaid by more than $1 trillion, all over ten years.

In addition to driving up the deficit, n4a is also concerned that these tax cut proposals would disproportionately advantage those at the very top of the country’s income distribution while providing marginal or no advantage to millions of middle and low-income seniors and their family caregivers.

“Implementing any federal budget strategy that would devastate federal health care, social services and income support programs to pay for tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthiest among us is irresponsible and fails to accommodate the current fiscal and demographic realities that the country faces,” said Markwood.

“The population of older adults is growing faster than at any other point in our country’s history, and now is precisely the time to be investing in, not robbing, our health and social safety-net programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, the Older Americans Act and other critical aging programs that keep millions of older adults healthy and enable them to age in their homes and communities, which is where they want to be. Tax cut proposals like those currently under consideration take the direct opposite approach to solving our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges and providing essential health and social services to older adults.”

TO DOWNLOAD A REVIEW OF POTENTIAL IMPACTS FROM CURRENT NATIONAL TAX REFORM PROPOSALS, CLICK HERE.

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