What’s In The Reconciliation Bill?
While the press has focused more on the price tag of the $3.5 Trillion Reconciliation package, there’s been almost no discussion of what provisions are in the bill. Neither the Democratic President or anyone in the media has bothered outlining what’s in the bill. Which is a sad departure from how the media used to cover policy changes like they did with Nixon’s healthcare proposal in 1971. So I want to use my expertise in data analysis to breakdown what’s in this bill and how it’ll benefit you.
If you’re entering retirement in the next few years, you’ll really like what’s in this bill. The eligibility age for Medicare will drop from 65 to 60 allowing millions more to enroll in the program and finally allow the agency to negotiate lower prescription drug prices like every other first world country does. And dental, hearing aides, and eye glasses will be covered by this package so you can enjoy more time with your family. My late grandfather spent up to $5,000 for hearing aids, five years ago. My late grandmother spent a minimum of $1,500 on dentures. It makes no sense to charge seniors more money on a fixed income.
Global Warming and Green Collar Jobs
Climate Change (i.e. Global Warming) is an existential threat to not only the environment but to the world economy.
On the West Coast we experienced one of the worst forest fires on record, and this year Seattle and Vancouver B.C. experienced a once in a 1,500 year heat wave causing roads to buckle and 600 people to die from heat exhaustion. I’ve grown up in Washington state my whole life and have never experienced three days of temperatures over 100 degrees in a row, nor did I expect 300,000 acres to burn in a normally wet region.
It would create incentives to invest in low income communities so they could benefit from solar, wind, and other renewables. It would also renovate older buildings by insulting them so they lose less heat in the winter which saves you time and money
Education For Your Family
Nearly one third of Americans are saddled with student loan debt. And that number is projected to get worse and younger generations with little to no wealth will become more reliant on taking out loans. The job market expects you have a college education, and that $1.73 Trillion in debt is a big reason why Millennials and Zoomers struggle to acquire wealth.
While I’m a fan of making sure all colleges are tuition free the provisions in this bill are a good start. It provides two years of free community college for Americans looking to climb up the socioeconomic ladder for a higher salary. It also includes increased Pell grants and scholarships, and increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). With the baby boom generation entering retirement job openings will open up over the next decade, and it makes all the sense in the world to invest in younger generations to fill those openings. It beats not having to worry about only being able to pay the interest on your loan which effects your credit score.
Tax Cut for You, Not Amazon
Around 98.2% of Americans will receive a tax cut. Anyone who makes $400,000 or less will receive a tax cut in this package. Large corporations who profited the most during this pandemic and took away hazard pay to their long time workers, will be the only group to see an increase from 21% to 26.5%.
Everyone had to make sacrifices during the pandemic including my own family. It makes all the sense in the world that Amazon which ‘rewarded’ their long time workers for doing overtime and risked getting sick by ripping away their hazard pay finally pay their fair share in taxes. A teacher shouldn’t be paying more in taxes than Jeff Bezos should they? If you’re a nurse, a teacher, a firefighter, blue collar worker, farmer, customer service worker, you all get a tax cut from this reconciliation plan.
Home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach for a generation that was promised the American dream was still possible. While the increases in boomers have priced my generation out of a home the bigger problem is investment firms like Blackrock are buying up all the homes available, artificially inflating the price to sell to the highest bidder. Costs of living have skyrocketed for us while wages remained stagnant which is why 70% of us are putting off buying a house.
This provides $332 billion in public housing and Housing trust funds to provide a roof over the heads of those who can’t get by. The trust funds allows local and state governments the flexibility to find areas where people want to live at and build some of the homes needed to accommodate that growth.
12 weeks of Paid Family and Medical Leave
We are the only industrialized country in the world not to guarantee paid leave to working families. That will change with this bill to allow families to give time to bond with their newborn child or to spend the last few moments with their ailing parent. Life can throw us a few curve balls, you shouldn’t be punished for simply being a decent human being wanting to look after your family.
The best part about this? Gig workers are covered. If you work at Amazon as a gig worker you qualify under the provisions in this bill. With nearly forty percent of the country doing gig work it makes sense to provide them basic rights. Everyone other country does this, let’s join them.