Social security loans would most likely have a bigger impact, said Richard Johnson, an economist who leads the Urban Institute's retirement planning program. One downside, however, is that "it doesn't help carers until they start collecting social security," he said. "The tax credit could provide immediate help."
Of course, the political chances of realizing all of these or any of these ideas remain highly uncertain, even if the Senate gains a slim democratic majority. "The question will be," Do we have the political will to do this? "Ms. Whiting said. Some Medicaid changes also require approval from state governments.
The plan does not go into details of how the administration would implement all of these guidelines, and the Biden transition team did not provide a policy advisor to discuss the president-elect's goals and strategies. Some aspects of the plan – such as efforts to get a caregiver tax credit – previously attracted congressional sponsors from both parties.
"There's a growing recognition of the essential help that family carers provide and an emerging consensus between Democrats and Republicans that they need more support," said Dr. Johnson. "So it might be time to pass meaningful federal laws."
Proponents of the plan see Mr. Biden as a president with an unusually personal understanding of care. He has served as a single father and caregiver for both injured children and an adult son with terminal cancer. When announcing his care plan, he also mentioned taking care of his parents when they were hospice patients in his home.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was the main sponsor of the National Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers last year. "You are the right people to have the conversation," said Ms. Whiting.
But as veterans of efforts to promote a more expansive federal approach to care, proponents like Ms. Goss Graves have also developed a sophisticated realism. "Things don't happen by themselves," she said. "I would feel hopeful, but I would also prepare to go to work."
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