Tracking Success: Biden-Harris Admin’s Care Agenda in Action

  • TDS News
  • U.S.A
  • April 9, 2024

Image credit, Marzena P.

In recognition of Care Workers Recognition Month, the Biden-Harris Administration highlights significant strides made in making care more affordable for American families, supporting family caregivers, and enhancing compensation and job quality for care workers. President Biden, alongside care workers and unions, is set to outline further plans for transformative investments in childcare, home care, paid family and medical leave, tax cuts for workers and families, and other crucial priorities. These initiatives, fully funded by equitable taxation on the wealthy and big corporations, stand in stark contrast to the proposed cuts by congressional Republicans, stated the administration. They prioritize tax breaks for the affluent at the expense of vital care services.

The pressing need to improve access to care is evident as many families and individuals struggle with soaring costs. Over the past decade, child care expenses have surged by 26%, while long-term care costs for older adults and people with disabilities have skyrocketed by 40% in the same period. These escalating costs render care unattainable for numerous Americans. Additionally, care workers, predominantly women of color, face financial hardships despite their essential roles, leading to high turnover rates. Furthermore, over 53 million Americans serve as family caregivers, with many encountering challenges due to inadequate support and training.

President Biden’s comprehensive plan addresses these pressing issues head-on. Key elements include:

1. Affordable, High-Quality Child Care and Universal Preschool: The President’s proposal ensures affordable, high-quality childcare from birth to kindergarten for low- and middle-income working families, substantially reducing the financial burden. Moreover, universal preschool for all 4-year-olds, with plans for expansion to 3-year-olds, aims to make early education accessible nationwide, while also bolstering the economy and increasing wages for early childhood educators.

2. Child Tax Credit: Restoration of the expanded Child Tax Credit promises to lift millions of children out of poverty and provide substantial tax relief for low- and middle-income families, offering financial stability and support for day-to-day expenses.

3. Long-term Care and Family Caregiving: Investments in expanding Medicaid home and community-based services seek to enable older adults and people with disabilities to receive care at home or in their communities. Furthermore, substantial support for family caregivers, including stipends and services for caregivers of veterans, demonstrates a commitment to honoring their invaluable contributions.

4. National Paid Family and Medical Leave Program: A comprehensive paid family and medical leave program administered by the Social Security Administration will ensure that all workers can fulfill caregiving responsibilities without financial strain, addressing the stark disparities in access to paid leave across different sectors.

The Biden-Harris Administration has already made historic strides in advancing these priorities. Initiatives such as the American Rescue Plan and Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers have injected critical funding into childcare, home care, and support for family caregivers. Federal agencies have undertaken numerous actions to enhance care services, from reducing childcare costs for low-income families to providing mental health counseling for family caregivers of veterans.

In contrast, the administration states Republican proposals prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy while proposing devastating cuts to essential programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Their budget would undermine vital care services, jeopardizing the well-being of millions of Americans. By investing in care and supporting caregivers, the Democrats believe they are laying the foundation for a more equitable and prosperous future for all Americans.