House Republicans Denounce Biden Caregiver Infrastructure Plan -Say It Is Not Infrastructure.
House Democrats defended President Joe Biden’s inclusion in his “American Jobs Plan” of $400 billion in support for caregiving, after Republicans criticized the package as stretching the definition of infrastructure and called on the White House to scale it back.
WHY CALL It INFRASTRUCTURE
The word “infrastructure” means something solid, essential, distributed and in the public interest. But as we have all learned in the pandemic year, care infrastructure is just that: UNPAID OR LOW PAID Caregivers are “rocks” and the solid foundation upon which the economy works. Without it, our families, our paychecks, our labor force participation, our workplaces all decline and we all suffer and collectively fall behind.
The Care Infrastructure Collapsing
From February 2020 to January 2021 more than 2.3 million left their jobs, and that puts women’s labor force participation rate at 57%, the lowest it’s been since 1988. This was due to a lack of childcare and closing of schools due to COVID when 39% of women family caregivers leave their job to have more time to care for a loved one.
Caregiving for an elder reduces paid work hours for middle aged women by about 41 percent. In total, the cost impact of caregiving on the individual female caregiver in terms of lost wages and Social Security benefits equals $324,044. 34% leave because their work does not provide flexible hours.
HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST GOVERNMENT IF FREE CAREGIVERS QUIT
Let’s put that free caregiving into context.At $470 billion in 2013, the value of unpaid caregiving exceeded the value of paid home care and total Medicaid spending in the same year, and nearly matched the value of the sales of the world’s largest company, Wall-Mart ($477 billion). [AARP Public Policy Institute. (2015). Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.]
So in 2013 the US Government would have to come up with $477 billion to replace free caregiving.
Let’s put that free caregiving into 2017 context. AARP notes unpaid caregivers’ economic impact was more than all out-of-pocket spending on U.S. health care in 2017($470 billion)and the total combined value added to the U.S. economy by the agriculture/forestry and mining sectors ($438 billion) that year.
So caregiving was not free, the US would have to come up with $477 billion in 2017 to replace it.
WHAT IF UNPAID CAREGIVERS Totally COLLAPSED
If all these unpaid family caregivers stopped caring the national caregiving system would collapse, like dangerous American bridges .Then the US government would have to come up with $470 Billion to replace free caregivers or put all elderly in nursing homes , which are havens for disease spread , which we know from the pandemic making them a holocaust of death. Congregate nursing homes and have become a broken national system since COVID.
What Will Biden’s Investment Create- in Jobs and the Economy
Sixty-five percent of the jobs — approximately 1.5 million jobs —resulting from Biden’s investment would be in child care, residential care, and home health care. An additional 225,000 jobs can be created or supported in sectors that support care work, and over 500,000 jobs would be supported in other sectors as direct care workers spend their wages on goods and services.
Biden’s Plan of investing $77.5 billion per year would support over two million new jobs, at an average cost of $34,496 per supported job. Over 10 years, this translates to 22.5 million new jobs. Annually, a $77.5 billion investment in new jobs translates into $220 billion in new economic activity.