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IRS Does Not Consider Breast Feeding to be an Allowed Medical Expense But Rather Falls Under Healthy Eating Habits–Huh?

Posted Nov 04 2010 3:28pm

Items like contact lenses, support hose and acne cream are ok but not supplies for breast feeding.  This is silly as the IRS I guess wants to be an expert in healthcare in their own area here, the breastfeeding disallowance image algorithm on the 1040.  The substantiation for this is that is does not hold enough medical value and is compared to “healthy eating”. What about the supplies for breast feeding as this is the real crux of the issue and there are a few expenses here but it’s not outrageous, it is just the algorithm in place due to someone’s interpretation. 

Everyone thinks they have the winning interpretation, but the ones that have the power are the algorithms that are substantiated by either reports or interpretations so again there’s power in those algos and who puts them in place, and in this case it’s the IRS on such a small stance.  It’s not one’s opinion that will cancel this type of deduction, it’s the algorithm of the IRS that does it.  So where does one’s interpretation go next one might wonder and say its having a baby a medical expense.  This is pretty trivial in nature and actually almost not worth the room of this post except the fact to bring this to the attention of those who are breast feeding so they know ahead of time not to cause an audit over this and can take what ever action they might find appropriate to voice their concerns and let the IRS know what they think to perhaps get some second thoughts going here and again so many other items are covered and why this is not included is beyond me.  BD   

It seems that the IRS doesn’t consider breastfeeding to be a medical expense.  The decision was made not to include breast pumps and other breastfeeding necessities as part of medical flexible spending accounts under the new health care laws.

Is breastfeeding health care? That’s debatable.  It’s preventative care, which might rule it out  more if preventative care wasn’t one of the biggest talking points of the new Health Care Bill.

To be more specific, the new health care overhaul allowed rules for flexible spending accounts that will go into effect in January. The goal for this part of the program was to allow Americans to use part of their pretax earnings to pay for medical expenses that aren’t reimbursed.  Given these facts, the IRS decision would be less relevant if one of the goals of the health care overhaul wasn’t to control medical costs by putting money towards encouraging preventive procedures.

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