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House Passes Porter Legislation to Lower Taxes, Cut Medical Expenses

Congresswoman’s continued pressure on House leadership results in lower taxes for Orange County families

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives today passed a provision championed by Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) to lower families’ medical expenses and save them money. The Porter provision does this by lowering the threshold at which families can deduct medical expenses from federal taxes from 10% to 7.5%. Porter previously led a bipartisan effort with 23 colleagues to call on House leaders from both parties to prioritize this key tax code provision in year-end legislation. Without this legislation, 4.4 million families with high health care costs who deduct medical expenses from their taxes would have seen their taxes increase when they file next year. This provision is expected to be signed into law later this week.

“Year after year, skyrocketing healthcare costs are hitting Orange County families harder and harder,” Congresswoman Porter said. “Now more than ever, Congress should be actively supporting Americans with high out-of-pocket medical expenses. I’m heartened to see leaders on both sides of the aisle agree that our tax code should reflect this ideal.”

The medical expense tax deduction provides critical relief for Americans by offsetting some of the cost of serious or chronic illnesses, unexpected sickness or injuries, or long-term care and assisted living. Beginning in January 2019, Americans with high healthcare costs could only deduct medical expenses from their taxes if these expenses exceed 10% of their income. In comparison, the income threshold for deductions was set at 7.5% of income for 2018. The legislation passed today as part of H.R. 1865, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, reinstates the lower income threshold for 2019 and 2020, preventing families from paying more in taxes on their 2020 tax returns.

Porter has also introduced bipartisan legislation that would permanently lower the threshold for the medical expense tax deduction to 7.5% of income.