WASHINGTON, DC, May 21 – Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL) has introduced ‘‘The Good Samaritan Charitable Physicians’ Services Act of 2018’’ in the House of Representatives [H.R. 5856]. It’s aimed directly at the dire need to provide healthcare services for the nations’ poorest citizens.
Under the proposed law, medical professionals who offer free medical care for low-income Americans would receive a tax break for each low-income patient they treat for free.
According to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, which has been lobbying for such legislation since last year, the senior advocacy organization conducted a survey among doctors and nurse practitioners. The poll asked if they would be willing to participate in such a plan and the great majority said they would. Weber noted that if each one the tax break is likely to attract medical professionals at a rapid pace providing free services to as many as 7 million needy people.
“Obamacare has failed to provide healthcare to millions of Americans and it is time for Congress to find new solutions to this growing problem. The Good Samaritan Charitable Physicians Services act will provide anyone without insurance a new source for healthcare and help to create a doctor-patient relationship missing in our current system. I encourage every member of Congress to cosponsor this legislation to help low-income families across the country,” Weber said in a statement.
In a recent opinion article by Weber, he said: “Currently, while the IRS permits physicians and nurse practitioners to deduct pro bono services provided to 501(c)(3) charitable services institution, it does not allow them to deduct pro bono services offered to individuals in clinics and offices. Congress should pass – and President Trump should approve – legislation that provides a pro bono tax deduction as a method of providing ‘no cost’ medical care services for up to 20 low-income or poor citizens annually who are not presently covered by insurance and rely on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program [CHIP].”
One of the things that makes such a program ideal is the fact that it would not require the establishment of a costly bureaucratic infrastructure to put it in place, Weber added. All that would be needed is for the IRS to create the necessary forms for participating medical professionals to claim their deductions.
In addition, says Weber, pro bono tax relief is an enticing benefit and, as a result, providing it is bound to attract more and more for medical practitioners once the program is established.
“The net benefits would be that the poor, including many senior citizens, would have free access to quality healthcare and the nation as a whole would save money. In fact, it is estimated that the government would save as much as $54.4 billion a year, and maybe more, in Medicaid payments annually. And it would reduce costly emergency room visits, the ‘go-to’ alternative for people who can’t afford to pay medical fees. That’s more than the amount requested in the FY2018 budget by NASA and the Departments of Energy, State, Homeland Security, and Housing and Urban Development. And pro bono care could easily be expanded to include medical specialists and retired physicians.”
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