The Republican tax overhaul bill introduced in the House last week would eliminate that deduction, which allows people who itemize their federal income taxes to deduct medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of their total income. The change is part of a broad effort to rewrite the tax code in a way that Republicans say will be simpler and fairer. But while the party has framed its tax plan as a boon for the middle class, eliminating the medical-expense deduction would hit the middle class squarely, eliminating a source of relief that has helped millions of people cope with steep medical costs in a country without comprehensive, universal health coverage.
For weeks, a swelling group has been showing up every Friday here at the local office of Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen to demand that he hold a town-hall meeting to answer its concerns about his fellow Republicans’ plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. After weeks without an answer, the congressman’s staff replied that he would be too busy, that such gatherings took considerable planning and that just finding a meeting place could be tough. So the group, NJ 11th for Change, secured venues in all four counties that Mr. Frelinghuysen represents for times during the congressional recess this month - and constituents plan to show up even if he does not.