FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations
Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD
“The American Public Health Association welcomes a number of important public health provisions included in President Biden’s American Families Plan. These provisions will have profound benefits for millions by expanding access to paid leave and affordable health coverage and strengthening key nutrition programs.
The inclusion of a national paid leave program in the president’s American Families Plan reflects a key initiative APHA has supported for many years. Currently, only a small percentage of workers in our country have access to this important benefit. Lack of paid leave adversely impacts low-wage workers, communities of color and efforts to mitigate the spread of disease, especially COVID-19.
Importantly, the proposal would permanently extend the tax credits under the American Rescue Plan for individuals who purchase their own health insurance. Under this proposal, millions of Americans will pay less for their health insurance coverage, and millions more will gain insurance coverage – a key priority for APHA.
We also welcome the important nutrition provisions in the American Families Plan, including a permanent extension of Summer EBT, or Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children, demonstrations to ensure low-income children have access to nutritious food year-round, expanding access to healthy and free school meals and eliminating the ban on individuals convicted of a drug-related felony from participating in the SNAP program, a policy that disproportionately harms individuals of color and their families.
I also commend the administration for including provisions that would strengthen both early-childhood and postsecondary education, extend important child tax credits and expand access to affordable and quality child care – all key components in ensuring healthier communities.
We look forward to working with both the Biden administration and Congress on these policy improvements that help us achieve our goal of the healthiest nation in one generation.”
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.