Eldercare Workforce Alliance Expresses Concerns About Student Loan Interest Deduction Removal in Tax Bill
RE: Student Loan Interest Deduction Provisions in H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Dear Chairman Brady and Ranking Member Neal:
We write to you, on behalf of the members of the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), to oppose a provision included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. EWA is a coalition of 31 national organizations representing the interdisciplinary care team--older adults, family caregivers, direct care workers, and health care professionals – united to address the immediate and future workforce crisis in caring for an aging America.
As the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act moves to the House floor, we are particularly concerned about the provision to eliminate the student loan interest deduction. Removing this deduction would not only discourage participation by a wide range of health professionals and direct care workers to pursue increased education, but would immediately impact the quality of life of direct care workers where the average pay equals just over $10 an hour. Health care workers who care for older patients serve a complex, challenging population, and evidence shows that working with geriatric patients is highly satisfying. However, there are significant barriers to recruiting and retaining people in the field due, in part, to financial disincentives. These financial disincentives are counter to the needs in our communities.
To meet the needs of older adults, financial incentives must increase the number of people who specialize in geriatrics, funding to attract knowledgeable faculty, and loan forgiveness and scholarships should be offered. Additionally, any ability to utilize loan programs and deduct the loan interest would significantly help the geriatrics health and direct-care workforce where 1 in 4 live under the poverty line at any given time. On behalf of the members of the Eldercare Workforce Alliance, we urge you to remove this provision from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Please contact Amy York, Executive Director, EWA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-505-4816 if you have any questions.
Sincerely, YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS