Caring for our communities’ children, aging or sick family members, and disabled neighbors is vital to the health and economic prosperity of our country. Without care work, no other work is possible. Whether you care for someone else’s children or family members or your own, your work is essential.
Despite this, Republicans and a handful of moderate Democrats in Congress have continuously stalled progress on the support our families have needed before and during this pandemic. We’ve watched as Build Back Better has been routinely whittled down while our families continue to struggle to survive without even basic necessities.
And now, we’re outraged to share that the support package being considered by our elected leaders has been stripped down to climate and healthcare—leaving child care, paid leave, an extended and expanded child tax credit, and more on the cutting room floor.
The current package being decided on does include two critical provisions that will help our communities:
- A two-year Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium extension that will keep 13 million Americans from seeing their health insurance costs rise. Some Democrats are also trying to work in changes to expand access to affordable health care to 2.2 million people, most people of color working in low-paid jobs, who are too poor to qualify for premium tax credits on the ACA Marketplace but earn too much to enroll in Medicaid because they live in states where Republicans have refused to expand eligibility.
- Provisions to lower prescription drug costs, which would disproportionately help older people and people with disabilities. It would put a limit on out-of-pocket costs and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices, and also penalize drugmakers that increase the prices of their products more than the rate of inflation. This would inevitably reduce costs for us all, given that Medicare by far is the largest purchaser of drugs.
While these are important provisions that absolutely should pass, it falls woefully short of the supports our families need and deserve. We all have people we love that we would do anything for. We’ve made promises to those people, like being there for them when they need us most. To keep those promises, we needed elected leaders to pass paid family and sick leave, make investments in child care, and other support for our families.
Yet every single Republican and a handful of moderate Democrats in Congress stood in the way of passing a universal child care program; comprehensive paid family and medical leave; child tax credits; and so many other policies that would have allowed our families to thrive.
Those same politicians and their ultra rich donors are simultaneously trying to strip us of our power—with abortion bans, attacks on trans children, immigration restrictions, voter suppression, and more. They are desperate to hold onto the systems that work for them and keep them obscenely wealthy.
We can change that with the power of our votes this November! Join us in electing candidates who will fight for the policies we need, including:
- Child care that works for every family, regardless of their income or zip code
- Increased wages for child care providers that reflect the essential work they do
- Paid family and medical leave for every family
- Increased access to mental health care for moms, caregivers, and kids
- Extended and permanent child tax credit
Care work—from raising and teaching children to caring for our elderly and disabled community members—is essential to our economy and the livelihoods of our families. Sign the Care Voter Pledge today and turn out this November to support candidates who support us!