Klobuchar Introduces Legislation to Provide Relief to Those Caring for Aging Relatives

Possible tax credit to care for elder family

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reintroduced the Americans Giving Care to Elders (AGE) Act to provide financial relief to caregivers by creating a tax credit for the costs of caring for an aging relative. The AGE Act would allow families to qualify for a tax credit to help offset expenses–ranging from purchasing assistive technologies and devices, respite care, to making necessary home modifications–of up to $6,000 per year. Klobuchar first introduced the AGE Act in 2015. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

“We know that caregiving can be extremely expensive–especially when family members must quit a job or reduce hours in order to provide care,” Klobuchar said. “To help ease the emotional and financial toll, the AGE Act would provide family caregivers with tax credits to offset the costs of care. We have to make sure the millions of family members who serve as caregivers for their aging loved ones are able to not just take care of others, but also themselves.”

“The American Heart Association is pleased to endorse the Americans Giving Care to Elders (or AGE) Act. Caregivers are indispensable assets to our health care system and often play a significant role in the recovery and well-being of heart disease and stroke survivors. As the nation’s population ages, the need for caregivers will escalate. This legislation is a critical first step to ensuring that those who care for elderly parents or relatives have the resources necessary to maintain the health and wellbeing of their families. We applaud Sen. Klobuchar for her leadership on this important issue,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.

“More and more family members are serving in the role as caregivers for their elderly family members, and those numbers will only grow as our baby boomer population ages. We applaud Senator Klobuchar’s continued leadership on programs that recognize and support family caregivers. We strongly support the AGE Act as it will help reduce the financial burden for adult children who help care for aging family members and provide education, support and respite to family caregivers,” said LeadingAge Minnesota President & CEO Gayle Kvenvold.

Throughout her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has been fighting to ensure that older Americans can live a life of dignity, with access to good health care and the peace of mind that their personal information is safe. The bipartisan Seniors Fraud Prevention Act, which Klobuchar introduced with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), passed the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this month. The bill would help fight scams designed to strip seniors of their assets by educating the community about fraud schemes and improving the monitoring of, and response to, fraud complaints. In October 2017, the bipartisan Court-Appointed Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act Klobuchar introduced with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) was signed into law as part of the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act. The law helps crack down on elder abuse by strengthening oversight and accountability for guardians and conservators.

Klobuchar has also been a leader in curbing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, improving and strengthening Medicare, and protecting American consumers by leading major legislation, such as the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act–which has 34 Senate cosponsors–to lift the ban on Medicare negotiating the best prices for prescription drugs, the bipartisan Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, to permit the safe importation of prescription drugs from Canada, and the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act, which would stop pharmaceutical companies from paying to delay the entry of generics and keeping competitors out of the market.

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