Thursday, April 22, 2021

Melinda Gates calls for a caregiver ‘tsar’

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Hello, Broadsheet readers! Melinda Gates asks Administrator Biden to appoint a Care Tsar, Julia Cheek’s Everlywell is valued at $ 1.3 billion, and Melinda Gates poses the idea of ​​a Care Tsar. Have a wonderful weekend.

Czar wanted. The pandemic has exposed the gaps in the health care system in the United States. With schools operating remotely and daycares and long-term care facilities closed, women are filling the gaps, often risking or outright abandoning their careers to do so.

The crisis prompted calls for the rescue of daycare centers by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D – Mass.), who argues that without help, child care providers will fall back during the pandemic, leaving parents with few options when they must return to work.

Now the crisis has sparked yet another demand, this time from Melinda Gates, who argues that President-elect Joe Biden should appoint a caregiver czar to urgently address the issue.

“By creating a new position to lead a multi-agency care response, he could ensure that, for the first time ever, the federal government formally considers the needs of caregivers in all policies and laws,” Gates written in The Washington Post.

On the first day of the new administration, the caregiver tsar could focus on expanding temporary paid leave arrangements for families, transferring billions of dollars to the crippled child care sector and providing additional resources. to reduce the Medicaid wait list for long-term care services, Gates says.

Beyond the practical importance of a caring tsar, the post would also carry great symbolism. As Gates writes, the title “tsar” was first used in 1918 – President Woodrow Wilson’s “czar of industry” oversaw WWI supplies. Since then, he has come to point out that the issue under consideration is of urgent national importance. (Republicans rebuked President Barack Obama for having, in their opinion, too many tsars; among them one drug czar, a pay czar, and one czar car.)

Caregiving, as a key economic driver, has been overlooked and taken for granted, possibly because of who runs it. Much of the work is unpaid and many paid facets offer little job protection and poverty wages. If nothing else, the pandemic has proven that it deserves attention at the Czar’s level.

And as Gates points out, the nursing czar is another opportunity for a Biden administration first.

“Given the number of Americans with caregiving responsibilities, you might assume such a role already exists,” she writes, “but in fact it never has been.”

Claire Zillman
claire.zillman@fortune.com
@clairezillman

Today’s Broadsheet was organized by Emma Hinchliffe.



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