1,000 Days Statement on House Passage of the Build Back Better Act

On behalf of 1,000 Days, I would like to applaud today’s House passage of the Build Back Better Act, which brings us one step closer to a healthier future for families in the 1,000-day window everywhere. This historic bill is a once in a generation investment in children and families, including transformational initiatives to advance health equity, climate justice, food security, and economic prosperity for working families.

From permanent CHIP authorization to closing the Medicaid coverage gap, the Build Back Better Act will dramatically expand access to affordable health care for American families. The bill also makes significant investments in programs to address the vast racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes in the United States, including several provisions of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus and an extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage. Investments in doulas, initiatives to expand the diversity of the perinatal workforce, and programs to address social determinants of health are critically important steps in improving health outcomes for birthing people of color and their families.

The Build Back Better Act also establishes a long-overdue national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program to support workers and their families. Whether for a personal health emergency, a public health emergency, to care for an ailing loved one, or to welcome a new child– when families need paid leave, they need paid leave. No one should have to choose between their well-being and their paycheck. At 1,000 Days, we know that paid leave is a public health imperative and a critical tool to support the well-being of moms and babies, address racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health, encourage equitable caregiving practices, and build a healthier future for us all. We strongly urge the Senate to take up and pass the Build Back Better Act as written, as soon as possible. Moms, babies, and their families can’t wait.

Blythe Thomas
Initiative Director
1,000 Days, an initiative of FHI Solutions