The monumental bill signed into law today is the beginning of much-needed relief for families across the country. All of us at 1,000 Days applaud the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act and were pleased to see President Joe Biden sign the bill into law this afternoon. Every day we work to ensure that women and children in the United States and around the world can have a healthy first 1,000 days, and we know that the coronavirus pandemic has posed an incredible threat to the health and wellbeing of families everywhere.
This important law will dramatically advance a number of 1,000 Days’ key priorities, taking important steps to combat food insecurity, improve maternal health outcomes, invest in global health programming, address child poverty and protect families’ financial security.
The American Rescue Plan Act will:
- Fund vaccine production and distribution efforts;
- Invest $800 million in WIC, increasing the cash value benefit available to families and improving outreach and program administration;
- Extend the 15% increase in individual monthly SNAP benefits through September 2021;
- Increase the Child Tax Credit, so that families with children under the age of 6 receive $3,600 a year, and make the credit fully refundable, reducing child poverty in the United States by nearly half;
- Send $1,400 checks to adults and children up to a certain income threshold, ensuring many families do not fall into poverty under the strain of the pandemic;
- Invest vital funds in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health to address the effects of COVID-19 around the world;
- Provide states the opportunity to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 1 year, an important step in addressing racial and ethnic health disparities in maternal health outcomes;
- Incentivize state Medicaid expansion and subsidize health coverage through COBRA or plans purchased on the ACA marketplace, making health care more affordable for American families;
- And much, much more.
Our work is not done until every family has the opportunity to grow up healthy and live a long, full life. 1,000 Days will continue to work with our partners and champions in Congress to fight for a comprehensive, universal paid family and medical leave program, to ensure families can stay healthy and financially secure, whether during a personal health emergency or a public health emergency. We will encourage robust investment in USAID nutrition programs in order to stave off disastrous second-order effects of the pandemic, which threaten to undo decades of progress on maternal, infant and young child nutrition. And we will work to build on the momentum created by this important legislation, to ensure that the wellbeing of moms and babies is a policy and funding priority, long after the end of this crisis.
1,000 Days, an Initiative of FHI Solutions