Children’s Healthwatch Is Deeply Disappointed Key Provisions to Support Families Are Notably Absent From the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
While the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 takes important steps toward the urgent issues of lowering health care costs and addressing climate change, Congress is missing a critically important opportunity to invest in children and families in this package. We are deeply disappointed that key provisions to support families included in the Build Back Better Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2021 are notably absent from the final legislation recently passed. By neglecting to extend and improve the advance Child Tax Credit, invest in high-quality, affordable child care, fund safe, affordable homes, or promote universal access to key child nutrition programs, we are jeopardizing the health and well-being of young children. In particular, families with low incomes, immigrant families, and Black, Latino, and Indigenous families will be disproportionately harmed.
Well before the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, millions of families with young children across the country struggled to afford basic needs, including food, rent, utilities, medical care, and child care. Difficulties affording each of these – separately and combined –imperil short and long-term child and adult health. Policies that eliminate these hardships and promote equity are urgently needed to ensure that all children in the US have opportunities to thrive. We will continue to work with leaders in Congress to identify opportunities this year for supporting young children and their families. Our nation’s youngest children cannot continue to wait.