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  • IDSA Statement on Tax Reform


    The Infectious Diseases Society of America is concerned about proposed changes to the U.S. tax code that would impact our nation’s ability to make essential investments in biomedical research and public health.  Further, we are troubled by specific provisions affecting the scientific workforce and the non-profit community.

    While worries about our national budget deficit have prompted Congress to place arbitrary caps on federal spending that constrain resources for domestic and global infectious diseases research and public health programs, both the House and the Senate tax bills would increase our nation’s deficit by at least $1.4 trillion over the next ten years.  If passed, the tax proposal likely will increase pressure to reduce further discretionary federal spending on health programs to address the burgeoning deficit. 

    IDSA is also alarmed that unless Congress overrides current law requiring automatic spending cuts to offset significant increases to the deficit, the tax bill will trigger automatic cuts to Medicare (up to $25 billion) and the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The Fund provides over 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget and delivers support for immunizations programs, efforts to reduce health care associated infections, as well as epidemiology and laboratory capacity.   

    IDSA is committed to fostering the next generation of researchers who will lead breakthroughs in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases. While many academic institutions currently waive some or all of Ph.D. student tuitions in exchange for research or teaching commitments, the House tax bill would treat waived tuition as taxable income for these students. We are distressed that the provision would put graduate education out of reach for most promising individuals, deplete the pipeline of new scientists, and leave the nation without the necessary expertise to remain the world’s leader in biomedical research. 

    Finally, IDSA shares the concerns of many other non-profit organizations regarding a provision in the Senate tax bill that would subject royalties received by non-profits for the use of their name or logo to unrelated business income tax.  Such royalties are an essential part of revenue for many non-profits that can be reinvested in activities to support our missions, including education and research.   

    IDSA urges Members of Congress to protect U.S. public health capacities and global leadership while considering tax reform legislation.  

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