WASHINGTON, April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today AARP Pennsylvania leaders and volunteers visited Capitol Hill to urge their elected representatives to make permanent the 7.5 percent medical expense tax deduction threshold, protect and strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and support family caregivers by joining the Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus. State AARP officials visited the offices of U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), and all 18 Pennsylvania U.S. Representatives to discuss these and other issues important to older Americans.
"We're asking Congress to take action this year on several initiatives that are critically important to our 1.8 million Pennsylvania AARP members and their families," said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh.
Johnston-Walsh said AARP Pennsylvania staff and volunteers focused on the following issues in today's meetings with lawmakers:
- Medical Expense Deduction: Beginning January 1, 2019, taxpayers will only be able to deduct medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of their income. AARP is urging Congress to make the current 7.5 percent threshold permanent to help protect the approximately 8.8 million Americans with high medical costs who need this deduction each year.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): AARP opposes funding cuts and recommends expanding access to the nation's largest domestic nutrition assistance program that provides a vital lifeline to almost 45 million low-income Americans, including nearly 5 million age 60-plus. AARP is also asking Congress to reject expanding SNAP's work requirements, especially for workers age 50-plus who often take longer to find new permanent employment.
- Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus: In Pennsylvania alone, 1.65 million family caregivers currently provide unpaid care to loved ones valued at $19.2 billion annually. The ACT Caucus is a forum for Congressional leaders to exchange ideas that can lead to solutions that will help family caregivers. AARP Pennsylvania leaders thank Representatives Costello (R-6), Dent (R-15) and Kelly (R-3) for joining the bipartisan ACT Caucus.
"AARP Pennsylvania hopes these issues will resonate clearly with elected officials in the Senate and the House as the midterm elections approach," said Johnston-Walsh.
AARP has 1.8 million members in Pennsylvania. Follow AARP Pennsylvania on Facebook @AARPPA and on Twitter @ AARPPA.
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania