Wilkes-Barre-US Senator Bob Casey is preparing to reintroduce five freedoms for American children. He is all over the United States, where children are medical, financially safe, educated, and well. He said he lacked good nutrition and safety.
Senator talked to the Times leader on Friday about the plan.
“In the 21st century, every child in the United States should have the freedom to reach their full potential,” said Casey of D-Scranton. “As Americans, it is our solemn duty to help families get the help they need, but we have failed many times.”
Casey said in recent years that corrupt forces have distorted the basic notion of freedom and created a government that works for the benefit of the enterprise rather than the best interests of children.
“Promising opportunities and freedoms to American children must be an urgent priority for society and government,” Casey said.
He then quoted his father, former governor Bob Casey.
“Only the government can protect vulnerable and helpless people when everything else fails. Freedom becomes an empty word when ignoring that obligation. Finding a job Hard-working people who can’t support their families are not free. People who are ill and don’t have health insurance to mitigate the impact are not free. Sic, uneducated children , Children Trapped in Sic-These children are not free, and in most cases such children will not be truly free without some breaks along the way from the government. . “
According to Casey, Luzerne County is home to 317,000 people, 20% of whom are under the age of 18.
“This is equivalent to 63,000 children or adolescents,” says Casey. “Given that, we know we have to make to lift the kids. These are big bets.”
Impact on children
Casey said the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted children’s lives, education, social connections, mental health, and access to regular sources of support (childcare, schools, community services, relatives, etc.). ..
“A growing number of children are in poverty, lagging behind school, experiencing hunger, lacking preventive care, and losing too many loved ones.” Such stress can adversely affect brain development, social emotional growth, mental health, and academic performance. “
Casey said Five Freedoms would reverse these trends, ensuring a safe, healthy and prosperous childhood and giving children the opportunity to grow.
“For that purpose, this document provides a detailed plan to ensure the blessings of children’s freedom today and tomorrow,” said Casey. “This plan identifies five basic freedoms that our society must guarantee to children in our country and recommends policy changes to guarantee those freedoms to all children. doing.”
Casey’s plans are as follows:
• Freedom to be healthy: All children in the United States should receive quality and affordable medical care.
This proposal recommends automatic Medicaid eligibility from birth to the age of 18.
• Freedom to be financially stable: All American children should have the opportunity to gain financial stability and earn a living wage when they grow up.
The proposal recommends permanently expanding the child’s tax credit, allowing parents to claim it monthly, and saving $ 500 each year with government contributions to create a child’s savings account.Business enterprise
• Freedom to learn: All American families need access to quality, affordable childcare and early learning programs.
The proposal recommends an additional $ 7 billion annually in investment to expand affordable childcare and early learning programs. An additional $ 18 billion annually to ensure that head start covers all eligible children aged 3 to 5 years. And a permanent expansion of child and dependent care tax credits to help working families cover the costs of childcare.
• Freedom from hunger: American children should not sleep hungry or worry about their next meal.
This proposal strengthens automatic certification of more children for school meal programs, expands universal school lunches and breakfasts, and retroactively reimburses school meals for eligible children who were not initially certified for school meals. It is recommended to increase.
• Freedom to protect yourself from harm: All states in the country should have the resources needed to strengthen their families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and investigate and prosecute crimes against children.
This proposal recommends the following investments: $ 250 million annually to prevent community-based child abuse. $ 250 million annually for child protection services. It also spends $ 250 million annually on the State Attorney General’s Office to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of crimes against children.
Casey said the policies he outlined would work together to have a substantial and positive impact on the well-being of children, all children.
“But proposals and documents cannot reasonably cover all of the determinants of a child’s well-being, nor can they propose policies related to each,” Casey said. Therefore, the goal of “Five Freedoms for American Children” revisits our approach to public policies that affect children, and how to address those policies and the needs of American children. It’s about creating a framework for discussing what to do. “
According to Casey, there are more than 4 million uninsured children in the United States.
He said the cost of implementing the Five Freedom program depends on how much it is included in President Biden’s American family planning. However, he estimates that all Five Freedoms projects will cost about $ 1 trillion.
“This is a big suggestion,” he said. “This is a big investment.”
Casey first announced the bill last year, but the latest effort is a $ 2 trillion framework in which President Joe Biden focuses on childcare, education, and other so-called “soft infrastructure.” It was done when the American family plan was announced.
Casey said he plans to roll out a series of bills from early to mid-June as lawmakers discuss infrastructure packages.
“I hope to pass some versions of American family planning by Workers’ Day,” Casey said.
Casey reintroduces five freedoms for American children
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