Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 14 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/19/20

What's Missing From the Coronavirus Bill

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 47089
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert Reich
Become a Fan
  (129 fans)

From Smirking Chimp

The public health and economic crises we're experiencing are closely related. They reveal in stark terms the dangerous mythology of trickle-down self-sufficiency and the need for policies that respond to the real needs of people who are or will soon be affected.

But Trump doesn't seem to understand that. Before agreeing to an actual coronavirus relief bill, his administration was considering more corporate tax cuts, tax cuts targeted to the airlines and hospitality industries, and a temporary payroll tax cut.

But tax cuts will be useless. They'll be too slow to stimulate the economy, and won't reach households and consumers who should be the real targets. And they'll reward the rich, who don't spend much of their additional dollars, without getting money into the hands of the poor and middle-class, who do.

Thankfully, Congress has moved forward on some of the most urgent priorities like free coronavirus testing, strengthening unemployment insurance and food security programs. But it doesn't go far enough.

Instead, Congress must immediately provide an emergency $500 billion to help all Americans protect themselves and their families, and keep the economy going.

The money should be used for:

Coronavirus testing and treatment. Diagnostic tests should be mandatory and universal, and free. And everyone with the virus should have access to treatment and to any future vaccines, regardless of ability to pay.

Guaranteed paid sick leave for ALL employees. The current relief bill does cover paid sick leave for some but has huge carve-outs, exempting all companies with over 500 employees and some small businesses under 50 employees. That exclusion could affect up to 20 million Americans. Without guaranteed paid sick leave and family leave, workers who are sick will not remain home and will end up exposing others.

Extended unemployment insurance. Without it, large numbers of Americans will be furloughed or laid off without adequate income to support themselves and their families. As it is, unemployment insurance reaches a measly 27 percent of the unemployed.

Extended Medicaid. No one should avoid seeing a doctor because of fears about out-of-control medical bills. Right now, 28 million Americans have no health insurance, and countless more are reluctant to see a doctor because of large deductions or co-payments. Especially in a health emergency, health care should be available to all regardless of ability to pay.

Immediate one-time payments of $1,500 to every adult and $500 per child, renewable if necessary. Some consumers might spend the money right away to meet rent if they lose their regular paycheck. Others might have stronger balance sheets and spend the money at whatever uncertain date the virus is contained.

Suspension of the Trump administration's "public charge" rule that enables federal officials to deny green cards to immigrants who use social safety net programs. Programs like, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and Women Infants and Children are more important than ever.

For the same reason, testing and treatment should be available to undocumented immigrants, without fear of deportation.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Reich Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump Cornered

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

What to Do About Disloyal Corporations

The Gas Wars

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

No comments