Hillary Clinton released details on Sunday for a new tax cut to help people care for their aging relatives—a problem, she said, which will only grow as the baby boomer population ages.
The new Clinton proposal, presented during a town hall in Iowa on Sunday, includes a tax credit to offset up to $6,000 in home caregiving expenses and an expansion of Social Security benefits to those who take time off to care for a family member. Clinton will also invest $100 million in a grant program that gives caregivers relief from their duties by giving their ailing relative temporary care in a facility outside their home—a program she championed during her tenure in the Senate.
While this problem isn’t necessarily setting the political world on fire in a race where name calling and fear mongering has taken center stage—the rising number of elderly Americans and how to pay for their care is a very real, looming economic issue.
About 12 million people require long-term care, and that number is expected more than double to 27 million in 2050, according to a 2014 report by the Bipartisan Policy Center. The center also notes that “public and private spending on [long-term care] for the elderly will grow from 1.3 percent of GDP in 2010 to 3 percent of GDP in 2050.
The Clinton campaign said the proposal would not add to the national debt over time and would be deficit neutral.
In March, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Barbara Mikulski introduced a bill that would implement the elder care tax credit, but it has, so far, gone nowhere in the Senate.
Clinton’s move comes as her main opponent, Bernie Sanders, has continued to hit Clinton on a lack of details to back up her campaign promises.
In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Sanders said Clinton was short on details when it comes to taxes and family leave.
“What is her program? What does she intend to do other than talk about it?” Sanders said when asked about Clinton’s allegations his proposals would hurt Obamacare and raise taxes on the middle class.
Sanders supports a $1.38 payroll tax increase to help fund three months of family leave for people to take care of children or elderly parents.
"If she thinks $1.38 a week is just too much to spend, let her explain that to the people of Iowa," he said.
Clinton leads Sanders in Iowa 54 percent to 30 percent, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average.