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To the Pennsylvania Delegation to the House of Representatives:
We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to express our concerns about the troubling impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs bill on seniors, children, people with disabilities, and working families in Pennsylvania. As the House passed and Senate passed versions of the bill head toward a conference, we hope that you will consider the interests of Pennsylvania constituents who will face the negative consequences of this legislation should it become law.
We are extremely concerned about the devastating impact of the tax proposals on health care in our state. The Senate version of the bill repeals a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates will result in 13 million more uninsured people and which will raise premiums by up to 10% for 7 million people. New analysis suggests that the provision will raise premiums for Pennsylvania families by $2300.00 by 2019 and lead to over 500,000 more uninsured people in our state by 2025.
Equally concerning is the $1.5 trillion increase in the deficit generated by unpaid tax cuts in both the House & Senate bills. Research from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) shows that a majority of tax breaks would accrue to large corporations and the wealthiest households. The recently passed FY 2018 federal budget resolution provides for the same amount in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, critical programs for our state and, indeed, the entire nation. It’s absolutely unacceptable to make cuts in these programs as well as other critical safety net services in order to give tax breaks to those who need it least.
The elimination of key exemptions and deductions that many families depend on to lower their tax bills including the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction would likewise leave families worse off. The SALT would leave many taxpayers in the position of paying taxes twice—once to the state or municipality and then again to the federal government—a situation which jeopardizes local government's ability to raise revenue for important services like Medicaid.
While simplifying the tax code is a worthy goal, the Tax Cuts and Jobs bill does so at the expense of hard-working PA families. We call on you to reject any final version of the tax bill that includes repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate, eliminates or reduces critical deductions in the existing tax code or will force cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and other public services in the coming year.