ICYMI: Jobless claims fall below 300,000 for the first time since the pandemic began https://t.co/LK23HYbQm1
Wealth Disparities Threaten the Economic Security and Opportunities of Hispanic Americans and Their Families
As the country observes Hispanic Heritage Month, it is important to celebrate the strength and resilience of Hispanic Americans while also recognizing the barriers to economic security that still stand in the way of a more equitable economy. The persistent wealth gap between white and Hispanic families, even more so than the gaps in income and employment, serves as a barrier to opportunity, obstructing a wide range of positive economic outcomes. The 61 million Hispanics in the United States, nearly 19 percent of the total population, hold disproportionately less wealth than their white peers: The median wealth, or net worth, of white families is five times higher than the median net worth of Hispanic families, and the wealth gap between white and Hispanic families is even more pronounced (six times as large) when average net worth is considered.
Health Insurance Tax Subsidies in the Build Back Better Act Will Provide Affordable Health Insurance for Millions of Americans
The House’s Build Back Better Act (BBB Act) will expand low-to-middle income families’ access to medical care by extending increased tax credits from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that make health insurance sold on federal and state marketplaces more affordable. These increased tax subsidies from the ARP have already lowered families’ monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and have helped total enrollment on marketplace plans reach a record high as of August 2021. If Congress makes these subsidies permanent through the BBB Act instead of letting them expire at the end of 2022, researchers estimate that 4.2 million more people will be insured compared to before the ARP was passed. This increase would help millions of families access health care, have more stable household finances and would put more money in their pockets to spend on other necessities.
Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave Will Generate Economy-Wide Benefits and Spur Economic Growth
The Build Back Better legislation being considered by the House would provide 12 weeks of universal paid family and medical leave for all U.S. workers, a crucial policy to improve the economic security of families, support small businesses and increase economic growth. The need to take leave is inevitable over the course of a lifetime, whether to care for a new family member, as in the birth or adoption of a child, or to handle a personal health crisis, and yet the United States is the only OECD country that does not require paid leave for new mothers and is one of only two OECD countries that does not require paid medical leave.
In the United States, the typical white family has nearly eight times the wealth of the typical Black family. Wealth serves as an enabler of opportunity, such that racial disparities in education, income, housing, retirement and other outcomes can be traced in part to the persistence of the racial wealth gap.
The U.S. economy is again facing the grave threat of a breach of the debt limit. Past debt-limit brinkmanship crises inflicted substantial uncertainty on businesses, drove huge declines in the stock market and consumer confidence and led to higher borrowing costs for taxpayers and consumers. Debt-limit brinksmanship resulted in the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and cost the country billions of dollars in lost economic activity, even though a default was ultimately avoided.
Democratic Committee Members
Reverend Raphael Warnock