AARP comes out against Senate GOP tax bill, warns of Medicare cuts

AARP comes out against Senate GOP tax bill, warns of Medicare cuts
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The AARP said on Thursday that it opposes the Senate GOP tax bill, warning senators it could lead to billions of dollars in Medicare cuts.

In a letter to senators, the influential seniors group urged lawmakers to work on a bipartisan version that won’t result in entitlement cuts.

"AARP is prepared to support tax legislation that makes the tax code more equitable and efficient, promotes growth, and produces sufficient revenue to pay for critical national programs, including Medicare and Medicaid," it wrote. "However, the Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in its current form, does not meet these criteria."

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AARP noted that the $1.5 trillion the bill would reportedly add to the deficit “will inevitably lead to calls for greater spending cuts, which are likely to include dramatic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other important programs serving older Americans.”

Unless Congress takes action, the legislation would result in an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare in 2018.

“Such sweeping cuts would be detrimental to an already vulnerable population,” the group wrote.

The group also said it opposes repeal of ObamaCare’s individual insurance mandate because of the massive premium spikes that could result.

AARP rejected the argument from Senate Republicans that the legislation would benefit senior citizens.

“The expiration of several of the income tax provisions in 2025, introduction of chained Consumer Price Index to the tax code and, for many filers, the repeal of the state and local tax deduction, would result in little if any tax benefit for many older tax filers, and for others, a tax increase,” the group wrote.

AARP said it estimated that the bill would increase taxes on 1.2 million taxpayers age 65 and older in 2019, and by 2027, 5.2 million older taxpayers would experience higher taxes.