Josie Kalipeni, Director of Policy and Federal Affairs, Caring Across Generations
At some point in our lives, almost everyone faces the challenge of either needing to receive care or provide care to others. This could be due to the birth or adoption of child, caring for a family member, affording early childhood care and education, stopping work due to your own serious health condition, or either you or a loved one needing long-term services and supports. For many individuals and families, these caregiving responsibilities and expenses can be a tremendous financial burden.
Currently, the United States provides no national social insurance programs to protect families from having to risk losing earnings to provide care or pay for expensive caregiving services. Every other advanced industrial (OECD) country provides some form of insurance for caregiving risks to ease the financial burden on working families.
As the boomer generation continues to age and live longer, the amount of seniors needing assistance with medical needs and daily living activities has significantly increased. In addition, a majority of households have no primary stay-at-home caregiver. As millennials have children, families are at a greater risk of having to compromise participating in the labor force for caregiving responsibilities, as well as afford the high cost of child care.
Policy proposals that aim to address the lack of care infrastructure to support working families are urgently needed. One new comprehensive public policy option to provide support for the caregiving needs of individuals and families is Universal Family Care (UFC). This social insurance program aims to support working families by providing paid family and medical leave, protecting against the high cost of early childhood care and education, and helping families afford long-term services and supports.
We will be examining Universal Family Care at the Academy’s annual policy conference, Regenerating Social Insurance for Millennials and the Millennium, on January 31. I’m thrilled to be moderating this session, and together with the esteemed panelists listed below, we hope to provide a robust discussion of the UFC policy proposal and implications for working families.
- Alexandra L. Bradley, Lead Policy Analyst, Academy Study Panel on Caregiving
- Henry Claypool, Founder, Claypool Consulting
- Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Co-Executive Director, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality
- Benjamin Veghte, Project Director, Academy Study Panel on Caregiving
I hope you’ll join us at the conference! For more information on caregiving and long-term services and supports, check out the Academy’s publication, Report to the New Leadership and the American People on Social Insurance and Inequality.