The Biden Administration’s American Families Plan (AFP) is a $1.8 trillion dollar power grab masquerading as a social program. Marketed as a plan to “expand access to education, reduce the cost of child care and support women in the work force, financed by additional taxes on high earners,” the scheme will further control consumer choices and decisions better left to individual citizens and their families.
Central to the plan is increased access to education and healthcare.
The package includes financing for universal prekindergarten, a federal paid leave program, efforts to make child care more affordable, free community college for all, aid for students at colleges that historically serve nonwhite communities, expanded subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and an extension of new federal efforts to fight poverty.
While the current public education system is under fire for promoting the racist ideas of Critical Race Theory, the Biden Administration wants to take control of your children even earlier in their lives with a universal, government run pre-school estimated to cost $200 billion.
Other features of the AFP include expanding the welfare state and incentivizing workforce avoidance at a time when the workforce is already depleted from the extended coronavirus benefits that pay the former labor force to stay at home.
The plan rewards non-working single parents over those families that are married and working (two key factors for escaping poverty). Under the proposal, a family that chooses not to work would receive almost three times as much in new benefits as a median-income working family.
The plan also includes expanding the government’s interference in the healthcare space. Some progressives plan to augment the Biden Admin’s healthcare plans in the AFP and have re-introduced Speaker Pelosi’s drug price legislation (H.R.3), which is designed to take price controls of pharmaceuticals away from United States’ authority. “In requiring negotiation, however, H.R. 3 also uses the prescription drug prices in other countries to set a ceiling for the negotiated price.” Consumers would have no influence over the pharma market because the ceiling for price controls would be set by the international market. Drug manufacturers would have to accept this international pricing model or cease selling their drugs in America.
But there’s no evidence turning over pharmaceutical price controls to the international community would have a long term benefit for health care consumers. It certainly would limit the development of new medicine and drug therapies.
In exchange for some short-term price reductions, the bill would drastically damage innovative companies across the country. According to the study, this policy would reduce the Part D revenues for U.S. companies by $358 billion over the next five years, a 58% reduction before interest and taxes. The Congressional Budget Office projects a similar decline — $336 billion over five years for U.S. companies overall.
Some features of the AFP are coming under fire from within. An analysis led by White House ally Jason Furman, a Harvard professor who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, concludes that lack of childcare is not driving low employment levels.
“School closures and lack of child care are not holding back the recovery,” said Furman, “And conversely, we shouldn’t expect a short-term economic bump from reopening schools and making child care more available.”
But their study runs counter to the argument from many Democrats that a lack of affordable child care options was a major reason for lower-than-expected employment growth in April — 266,000 jobs created compared to 1 million expected. Instead, it suggests that other factors, including one that Republicans have stressed — enhanced federal unemployment benefits, which add $300 per week on top of state jobless aid — are playing a role in keeping people out of the workforce.
The federal government should stay away from limited consumer choices and interfering with education and healthcare, especially when the country is trying to recover from coronavirus lockdowns and a compromised healthcare system.