Provisions That Bleed Grad Students and the Sick Are Struck From Final Tax Bill

Daren Fentiman via ZUMA

According to the Wall Street Journal, the following items have been left out of the final version of the Republican tax bill:

  • Repeal of the deduction for large medical expenses.
  • Repeal of the tax-free status of graduate-school tuition waivers
  • Repeal of the student-loan interest deduction
  • Repeal of private activity bonds

The first provision allows people to deduct medical expenses that are greater than 10 percent of their income. The second provision applies to grad students, who aren’t required to pay taxes on the “income” from waived tuition fees. Both benefits will now remain instead of being killed off.

As far as I know, none of these four ever amounted to much money, so ditching their repeal won’t affect the overall score of the bill. This makes you wonder why they were included in the first place, of course, but for now I guess we can just breathe a sigh of relief that they’re gone.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.