Lawmakers want IRS to make breastfeeding a medical expense

House and Senate Democrats wrote to the nation's top tax official Tuesday asking that the Internal Revenue Service recognize breastfeeding as a medical expense. Doing so would make the purchase of breast pumps and other breastfeeding supplies tax-deductible and allow the use of flexible health spending accounts to pay for them.


Current IRS regulations are "at odds with the growing body of medical evidence showing that breastfeeding has proven health benefits for both mothers and babies," the lawmakers wrote to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. "Extensive medical research has demonstrated that breast milk goes beyond nutrition and contains antibodies, anti-infective agents, and immunoglobulins that prevent disease."

The letter was spearheaded by Reps. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) in the House and Sens. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions Congress unlikely to reach deal on Trump border bill before break Chaos within the EPA exposes Americans to toxins like asbestos MORE (D-Ore.) and Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinKey endorsements: A who's who in early states Stop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate MORE (D-Iowa) in the Senate. Nine other senators and 32 congressmen have also signed on.