IRS Says No to Mothers for Breast Pumps

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The IRS has also eliminated tax deductions for over-the-counter drugs like antacids, pain relievers and allergy medicine.

"On the whole, I think the efforts that have been made recently to try and constrain what can be paid for through an HRA or HSA have imposed hardship on patients," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

"A lot of these efforts were ideologically driven by some groups and politicians who are opposed to consumer-directed health plans for a variety of reasons, and so they sought to undermine them, but in the process it has created some perverse outcomes."

An estimated 23 million people have a health savings account or other tax-sheltered employer arrangement, and another 20 million have flexible spending account, according to John C. Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

"I am not an expert in that field, but the evidence says if you spend a little money to encourage this activity, you get it back in terms of health effects of breast feeding," said Goodman. "I absolutely agree [that breast-feeding supplies should be tax deductible]. Across the board, there are a whole set of regulations that are penny-wise and pound-foolish."

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