Capitol Correspondence - 05.04.21

President Biden’s Congressional Address Focuses on Jobs, Health Care

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President Biden’s first address to Congress served as a review of his first 100 days in office, with a heavy emphasis on job creation and the health care system.  The President used his speech to present his American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan as necessary undertakings to rebuild the nation’s economy and trust in government. You can access the full transcript here.

The American Families Plan’s three pillars – free education, direct support to children and families, and continued tax cuts for working Americans – all center on improving the health of the nation. Specific proposals the President flagged as part of the plan include:

  • An extension of the expanded health insurance tax credits established in the American Rescue Plan.
  • A continued focus on lowering health premiums and promoting preventative health care.
  • A $62 billion grant program intended to increase college retention rates, which would include mental health services and student health care.
  • Support and reimbursement for home caregivers and community health centers, with a reference to the caregiving workforce. 
  • An extension of the child tax credit to 2025, with the goal of cutting child poverty in half.
  • The passage of the Healthy Families Act to promote preventative care for workers, their children, and family members with disabilities.

One of ANCOR’s top policy priorities is the inclusion of long-term funding provisions for the Home and Community Based Services program in the jobs and infrastructure package that Congress is preparing in response to the American Jobs Plan. We will keep members informed of opportunities that arise when Congress eventually turns its focus from the American Jobs Plan to the American Families Plan.

Additional reading: This Kaiser Health News panel discussion reviewing the first 100 days of the Biden administration’s health care policy can serve as a good companion piece to our summary for members seeking to stay abreast of broader health discussions.