GOP tax bill would eliminate medical expense deductions

The House Republican tax bill would eliminate the ability for individuals to deduct qualified medical expenses, a provision that could have major implications for households with extremely high health-care costs.

Under current law, the IRS allows individuals to deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of a person’s adjusted gross income for the year. The bill would repeal that itemized deduction, effective in 2018.

The cost to repeal the medical expense deduction is about $10 billion per year.

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The IRS currently allows individuals to deduct preventative care, treatment, surgeries and dental and vision care as qualifying medical expenses.

The medical expense deduction can also be used for long-term care expenses for chronically ill patients.

The provision could be a flashpoint for Republicans, as the repeal could hit both patients themselves and their families, who sometimes help pay for care.