January 04,1999

Roth Statement on Long-Term Care Tax Credit

WASHINGTON -- The following is the statement of Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE):

"The Administration's long term care tax credit proposal is a good first step in helping families with the financial burden of caring for elderly or disabled parents. This is an idea that has bipartisan support, and was part of the Republican 1995 budget that was vetoed by President Clinton.

"I think that we need to go further and also make long term care insurance fully tax deductible. Current law only provides for limited deductibility of long term care insurance as an itemized deduction. Long term care premiums, in addition to other medical expenses, must exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income for families to be able to deduct them. That is a big hurdle for most people.

"Last year, I proposed full deductibility of health care insurance premiums -- which would have resulted in full deductibility of premiums for long term care. This should be addressed again this year, so that we not only give a tax break to individuals who are currently providing long term care, as the Administration proposes, but by also giving a tax break to those who purchase long term care insurance which will pay for those individuals' long term care needs in the future."