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Lawmakers ask IRS to recognize breastfeeding as a medical expense

Faithful readers know my strong feelings about the IRS' refusal to recognize breastfeeding as a medical expense. Imagine my happiness, then, when I learned that a group of legislators has taken up the issue: Yesterday 34 members of Congress asked IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to make breast pumps and other breastfeeding supplies tax-deductable and reimbursable through flexible health spending accounts.

In a letter (.pdf) to Shulman, the legislators wrote:

The decision by the IRS is at odds with the growing body of medical evidence showing that breastfeeding has proven health benefits for both mothers and babies. Extensive medical research has demonstrated that breast milk goes beyond nutrition and contains antibodies, anti-infective agents, and immunoglobulins that prevent disease.


The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages mothers to breastfeed their infants for at least the first year of a child's life. However, one major barrier is the high cost of buying or renting a breast pump and related supplies. These tools are essential medical supplies that are vital to improved childhood health...

Here's hoping the IRS will listen!

Previously: Really, IRS? Agency doesn't recognize breastfeeding as form of preventive medicine
Via Healthwatch

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