Despite Some Important Advances, Inflation Reduction Act Is Not Nearly What America’s Moms and Families Need
“It’s been a long, arduous journey to the budget reconciliation bill announced late yesterday. While America’s moms and families celebrate the measures that will reduce prescription drug costs, continue Affordable Care Act premium subsidies for three more years, make our tax code more fair, and take some key steps to address the climate emergency, one thing has been constant throughout many months of this debate: Lawmakers have pushed aside, deprioritized, and ignored the urgent care-related needs that moms and families face and that our economy desperately needs. That is absolutely unacceptable.
“We will never have a strong economy, successful businesses, or thriving families if we do not make quality child care affordable, guarantee all working people have access to paid family/medical leave, improve maternal health care for all pregnant and birthing people, close the Medicaid coverage gap, support home- and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities, and ensure that all care workers are paid a living wage with decent benefits. A robust care infrastructure, including monthly Child Tax Credit payments, is essential to reducing costs and helping families make ends meet, addressing inflation and supply chain shortages, and creating a vibrant economy. In this regard, Congress has utterly failed the country once again.
“America’s moms will never give up and never stop organizing and demanding that lawmakers address the urgent care-related needs the country faces. In particular, our already-fragile child care system has been buckling during the pandemic, with programs closing, labor shortages, costs rising, and moms in particular pushed out of much-needed jobs as a result. We must make the investments that will turn that around. Our already abysmal maternal health outcomes have grown worse during the pandemic, making our nation the most dangerous place to give birth in the industrialized world. And our failure to guarantee paid family/medical leave is a devastating problem, pushing families into crisis practically every day. It’s long past time for every working person in America to have access to paid family/medical leave, just as people in every other industrialized nation already do.
“In addition, despite well over a decade of fighting to protect and defend the Affordable Care Act, the promise of a health care option for every family has been left unfulfilled for millions. We will continue our fight for families who are stuck in the coverage gap, primarily Black and Brown people in the South, who are being left without the life-saving health care coverage they need.
“These problems, which Congress has again failed to address, are a huge, costly, and unsustainable drag on the country’s economy and competitiveness and they are not going away. America’s moms fully expect our elected leaders to right these egregious omissions by the end of the year.
“The Inflation Reduction Act provides some significant gains, but it is not nearly what America’s moms, families, and economy need. Lawmakers have a lot of work still to do for our country’s women and families.”