Breast Pumps Not Covered Under Tax-Sheltered Healthcare Accounts

October 28th, 2010 - 6:56 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
electric-breast-pump-1Oct 28, (THAINDIAN NEWS) In a rather shocking ruling the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) declared that breast feeding does not have enough health benefits to qualify for tax benefits. The body has ruled that breast pumps and other paraphernalia associated with breast feeding will not be considered under the tax-sheltered health care accounts of the Americans. The ruling has come under heavy criticism from the media and has created a stir among the medical experts.

Experts have revealed that the ruling is quite contradictory considering that zit creams and artificial turf are covered under the tax-shelter. The doctors said that breastfeeding helps in reducing the diseases among the infants and increasing their immunity with the help of the antibodies that get transfered from the mother. A recent study also concluded that breast feeding also prevents the premature death of more than 900 babies in a year. Another study by the Harvard Medical School found that if 90% of the mothers followed the standard medical instruction of breast feeding their babies till the age of 6 months then as much as $13 billion could be saved in health care costs.

Doctors revealed that the old adage that breast feeding is a child’s first immunization is true and taking away the tax-shelter for the purchase if breast pumps, etc could be a wrong move. IRS officials have defended the move by saying that though they recognize the benefits of breast feeding, they consider it a part of nutrition. They explained that IRS considers nutrition to be a necessity and not a medical condition. They also said that it was similar to providing tax-breaks for buying a juicer as fruits are considered healthy.

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