(Washington) -- Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne wants to help individuals facing challenges in caring for older Americans.
Axne and other colleagues in the U.S. House recently introduced the Americans Giving Care to Elders or AGE Act, which would provide tax credits of up to $1,200 to taxpayers earning under $200,000 to offset expenses incurred in providing elder care. The West Des Moines Democrat extolled the measure's virtues on KMA's "Morning Line" program Thursday morning.
"This will help our caregivers to be able to buy medications, help with medical tasks, daily living assistance--all of that stuff," said Axne. "So, this will help provide some of the support our families need, take out some of the cost, give those caregivers some reprieve. They can hire a babysitter, and use that money to give them a couple of hours to go to the grocery store, and maybe an hour's piece to maybe go take a walk."
Axne met with caregivers in a roundtable discussion at Des Moines Area Community College earlier this week on issues facing caregivers. In many cases, she says the caregivers are adults who must take care of their parents.
"We have people who are in their 50's and 60's who are in the prime of their earning years, and they're also taking care of their own children," she said. "They're then needing to step up and take care of their parents. It's very expensive, and in many cases, it requires somebody to leave the workplace, which puts a huge impact on those families. It also puts a lot of stress on them."
Axne introduced the bill along with Republican Congressman David McKinley of West Virginia and Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois. In addition to bipartisan support, she says the measure is also backed by a number of organizations.
"We've got support from the American Heart Association, the Longterm Care Community Coalition, the American Seniors Association--on and on--about how important this is," said Axne. "So, I I know that across the board, people bipartisanly agree that we've got to support our caregivers, because sometimes, it's just too much for people to handle."
The bill is under consideration in the House Ways and Means Committee. You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne here: