H.R. 647, the ABLE Act, is also known as the “Achieving a Better Life Experience” act. It is sponsored by Rep. Crenshaw (R-FL); it was introduced on Feb. 13, 2013. It currently has 380 cosponsors; Rep. Reed became a cosponsor on July 30, 2014, one of the last to join. Here is the CRS summary:
Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2013 or the ABLE Act of 2013 – Amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish tax-exempt ABLE accounts to assist an individual with a disability in building an account to pay for qualified disability expenses. Defines “qualified disability expenses” to include expenses for education, including higher education expenses, a primary residence, transportation, obtaining and maintaining employment, health and wellness, and other personal support expenses.
Treats a qualified ABLE program and an ABLE account in the same manner as a qualified tuition program for income tax purposes (i.e., allowing a tax exemption for such program and an exclusion from gross income of amounts attributable to a contributor to or a beneficiary of a program account). Defines “qualified ABLE program” as a program established and maintained by a state agency under which a person may make contributions to an ABLE account established to pay for qualified disability expenses.
Requires amounts in ABLE accounts to be disregarded in determining eligibility for Medicaid and other means-tested federal programs. Suspends the payment of supplemental security income benefits under title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) of the Social Security Act to an individual during any period in which such individual has excess resources attributable to an ABLE account.
With 380 cosponsors, this bill would have surely passed if GOP misleaders had allowed a vote. Could the GOP be holding this popular bill to the last minute with the intention of attaching a special interest item?
© William Hungerford – November 2014