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Event Summary: The Cost of Caring

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Event Summary: The Cost of Caring

by: 
Pearl Lim, ANCOR Summer Intern

The Hill’s The Cost of Caring: Family Caregivers and Tax Reform event was held on July 13th at the Liaison Capitol Hill at 8:20 a.m.

The panel featured Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Congressman Dan Donovan (R-NY), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and moderator by Bob Cusack (Editor-in-Chief, The Hill). This bipartisan panel discussed the financial toll of family caregiving and the necessity of tax reform, in particular the Credit for Caring Act.

Discussion focused on the immense value that family caregivers provide along with the financial, mental and physical toll that often comes with this care. Family caregivers in the US provide $470 billion in unpaid care, yet 78% of family caregivers incurring out-of-pocket costs as a result of caregiving. Panelists also discussed health reform and the division of Congress over the new healthcare bill. Senator Ernst stated that even with a possible repeal, her main focus is to, “protect the most vulnerable.” Congressman Donovan stated healthcare is not a partisan issue at all and that, “there are things we have a difference of opinion on… caring for a loved one isn’t one of them.”

This bipartisan congressional panel dove into both personal and constituent stories behind the Credit for Caring Act. Speakers spoke knowledgably the immense value family caregivers provide as well as the variety of expenses that they undertake. The proposed Credit for Caring Act would provide a tax credit for 30% of qualified expenses up to $3,000 to family caregivers to alleviate the financial toll family caregivers’ bear. “Credit for Caring is a very modest step, but a very important step in the process,” said Senator Baldwin. “Institutionalized care isn’t what people want, and it comes with a higher price tag.”