Congratulations. I have a tradition where I send the President-Elect a Christmas card. I started this tradition in 2008, and now I do this again. I sent the card to your wife, because I believe there would be a greater chance of it being read.
My hope is that you will think about my family and other American special needs families during your administration. I am an accountant helping those with their medical expenses. For several years, I have spoken with many families, and their biggest need is the same: how to afford the necessary treatments to help their children.
The overwhelming cost of healthcare is one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy in the United States. About ten years ago, I thought our family would become part of that statistic. However, with my taxation experience and knowledge about health insurance and Health Savings Accounts, I used it as a guide to help deduct many medical expenses.
From that experience, I began consulting families who desperately needed to reduce healthcare costs. I collected their stories and created a book on how to reduce those costs using a unique system I created.
The following are action items to change the Tax Code and cafeteria plan rules to benefit special needs families:
- Reduce the threshold for medical expense deductions from 10% to 5% (or less) of AGI
- Reverse President Obama’s decision and reverse the Flexible Spending Account threshold from $2,500 per year back to an unlimited amount. Many special needs families I’ve spoken to have suffered over this change, because they used the FSA for their child’s special school expenses
- Encourage and spread the word about ABLE Accounts
- Allow “unauthorized” treatments such as laetrile (Vitamin B17 treatment) and medical cannabis to be deductible as a medical expense and be reimbursable under a cafeteria plan
- Allow reimbursement of OTC drugs and medical items under a cafeteria plan
This is not an exhaustive list. These bullet points come from the recommendations of many special needs families I have helped over the years. I believe these items will help countless American families and make healthcare more affordable.
My parents taught me to work smart and work hard, and my father instilled in me a never-ending thirst for knowledge. This drives me to search for the answers to questions no one can currently answer about my son’s autism diagnosis and possible treatment options. It encourages me to work hard for my son and others like him. It inspires me to write this at 4am and send this to an early riser like yourself.
Yolanda Ruiz-Leon Baker