Provisions That Bleed Grad Students and the Sick Are Struck From Final Tax Bill

Daren Fentiman via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the following items have been left out of the final version of the Republican tax bill:

  • Repeal of the deduction for large medical expenses.
  • Repeal of the tax-free status of graduate-school tuition waivers
  • Repeal of the student-loan interest deduction
  • Repeal of private activity bonds

The first provision allows people to deduct medical expenses that are greater than 10 percent of their income. The second provision applies to grad students, who aren’t required to pay taxes on the “income” from waived tuition fees. Both benefits will now remain instead of being killed off.

As far as I know, none of these four ever amounted to much money, so ditching their repeal won’t affect the overall score of the bill. This makes you wonder why they were included in the first place, of course, but for now I guess we can just breathe a sigh of relief that they’re gone.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend