House OKs bill to widen federal help for disabled
WASHINGTON - The House has overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow Americans with disabilities to open tax-free bank accounts to pay for certain long-term expenses.
The 404-17 vote on Wednesday approves the most sweeping legislation to help the disabled since 1990, affecting as many as 54 million people. It now goes to the Senate, which was expected to move quickly in favor next week.
The legislation was striking for its wide-ranging support, with 85 percent of Congress listed as co-sponsors.
Under the measure, families would be able to set up tax-free savings accounts at financial institutions to pay for expenses such as education, housing and health care. Supporters say it would especially benefit those who require intensive forms of care and help the disabled become financially independent.