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Investigating President Biden's $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

June 08, 2021  |  Article

 

Yogin Shroff, Senior Partner and Chief Operating Officer

Public health policy is a key lever for healthcare change. How is the American Rescue Plan expected to change the social determinant landscape?



The 21st century has seen unprecedented interest in social determinants and health equity as a leading healthcare policy priority. While the spotlight owes much to the World Health Organization's creation of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), it can also be considered a natural evolution of decades of action.

President Biden's $1.9 trillion relief plan, also known as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), strives to combat numerous challenges facing the United States today; among these are wages, COVID-19 vaccinations and critical infrastructure.

While each of these stand to yield important economic and social outcomes, perhaps none will be as impactful nor as long-lasting as activity in the healthcare sector.

An estimated 7% of the $1.9 trillion stimulus can be traced to social needs. These span economic stability, education, built environment and healthcare.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

The American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, signals unambiguous commitment on the part of America's Legislative and Executive branches to improve the social determinants as a top healthcare priority. From funding critical health centers to alleviating food insecurity to providing shelter for the homeless, ARPA is compelling action that improves individual's abilities to live fulfilled lives.

Importantly, no policy is flawless and ARPA is no exception. However, it is health legislation like the preceding that can turn ideas into solutions, despair into hope, and vulnerability into security.

While the long-term outlook of this policy and its effects on the healthcare sector are to be seen, one thing is clear – Public health professionals must continue to demand change in the healthcare system, because change is happening and their voices are being heard.

REFERENCES

1 CBPP (2021, April 8) Tracking the COVID-19 Recession’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships. Retrieved from https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/tracking-the-covid-19-recessions-effects-on-food-housing-and

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