O n November 7th, 2020, Joe Biden was named the President-Elect . On January 7th, 2020, he was certified as the 46th President of the United States. This comes after January 6, 2021 went down in history as one of the worst days for American democracy , a day that saw a violent insurrection at the Capitol that cost lives and further highlighted how differently white and Black Americans are treated at the hands of law enforcement. Fifty-two people were arrested yesterday (47 of those arrested for curfew violations) and four died (a woman was shot and three others died from medical emergencies).
This is what Joe Biden’s certification means for parents:
Joe Biden’s plans for paid leaveAs President, Joe Biden and his VP Kamala Harris plan to make changes to America’s family leave policies . Both Biden and Harris support a plan to bring 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to American workers. The leave can be used following the birth of a child or to care for a family member’s medical conditions. The pandemic has shined a spotlight on the need for extensive policies like these. America is the only industrialized nation without paid leave —and families are suffering for it. Biden’s website explains: “Many parents are struggling to find childcare while they go to their essential jobs, or find themselves as 24/7 caregivers trying to keep their children safe and learning while working remotely. Other parents are caring for their kids, while worrying about how they will make ends meet after having hours cut or losing their jobs.” Biden’s plan is estimated to cost $775 billion over 10 years. It includes social safety net programs that benefit low-income families, as well as the disabled and elderly populations. It also includes tax credits for informal caregivers and professional support for caregivers of wounded warriors. Both Biden and Harris have long supported paid parental leave for both fathers and mothers. Before she ended her presidential run, Harris called for a more generous leave plan of six months paid family and medical leave. She called her platform “Kamala’s Children’s Agenda” and based it on the idea that “every decision we make has a profound impact on our nation’s youngest, most vulnerable residents.” We know that paid family leave is good for children, families and businesses. It’s time for our government to support American families by introducing comprehensive, paid family and medical leave.
Joe Biden’s plan for childcareWhen Joe Biden announced his plan for childcare back in July , it caught the attention of many parents who are struggling to access affordable, quality childcare. “We need to make high-quality childcare affordable and accessible,” Biden tweeted in July. “As president, I’ll give every 3- and 4-year-old access to free, high-quality preschool. And low- to middle-income families won’t spend more than 7% of their income on quality care for children under age 5.” His plan for affordable childcare see parents receive a tax credit to cover a portion of childcare costs. Parents who don’t want a tax credit could choose to a childcare subsidy instead, and families earning up to $100,000 a year would be covered. It’s estimated that the typical family would end up paying about $45 a week for day care under the plan , something that would be life-changing for many families. The lowest-income families would have fully-covered childcare.
Joe Biden’s plan for maternal mortalityIn the United States, too many babies are going home from the hospital without their mothers. Too many fathers are losing their partners in the delivery and recovery rooms. Approximately 700 new moms die each year. Black and Native American mothers die most often. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Black women in the United States are 3-4 times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. Joe Biden’s plan for reducing maternal mortality is clear: He wants to copy what California is doing. As Motherly has previously reported, California is reducing maternal death rates though a public-private partnership to investigate maternal deaths. Biden’s plan for health care (we’ll get to that) is also a factor here, as maternal mortality is lower in states with expanded Medicaid. Biden supports expansion so that all women have access to perinatal care.
Joe Biden’s plan for systemic racismMaternal mortality rates are just part of the way systemic racism hurts Americans every day. Police violence, incarceration, climate change and unemployment are among the issues that disproportionately impact BIPOC. Biden’s been vocal about this during the campaign and back in July he unveiled his big plan for addressing racism in America. He plans to “remove barriers to participation in our economy, expand access to opportunity, and fully enforce the policies and laws that we already have on the books” in order to “advance racial equity across the American economy.”
Joe Biden’s plan for health careJoe Biden has presented a pretty ambitious plan for health care . He wants Obamacare to evolve and do more as it becomes Biden-care. He plans to protect and expand on the Affordable Care Act implemented back when he was Vice President. Under the plan people can keep private insurance or enrolled in a public option (that would be available even to people to have existing health care through their employer). It is not Medicare-For-All, but does aim to get health care to every American and will involve tax credits to offset costs to families.
[A version of this post was published November 7, 2020. It has been updated.]