The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working to build a Culture of Health.


The Debate Over the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency is Failing America

With the Public Health Emergency in place through at least mid-July, we should use this critical window to plan for an orderly and equitable transition guided by data and readiness, not politics. It should ensure that millions of people continue to receive affordable healthcare. RWJF President and CEO Richard Besser writes in The Hill that we should preserve and build on, rather than discard, specific provisions that should be here to stay. This could include extending the highly effective premium tax credits for healthcare plans offered under the Affordable Care Act; providing coverage to people with low incomes who fall into the “Medicaid coverage gap” in twelve states; and making a year of postpartum coverage mandatory for all pregnant women on Medicaid.

The work toward equity that awaits a pandemic-weary nation: ANALYSIS

We have all earned the right to breathe easier in this pandemic, as the worst of the devastating Omicron wave is thankfully behind us. Even so, our work is not done, writes Dr. Richard Besser in a piece for ABC News. COVID-19 or not—every day is a public health emergency for far too many people. The policy response to the pandemic has provided a blueprint for what is needed to finally fix our nation's broken systems. The foundation for a better future has been laid and tested. Now it's time to ensure that everyone living in America can earn a decent living, receive proper health care, put food on the table, and provide for their children. This must be our nation’s calling. 

What the Child Tax Credit Fight Says About America

The United States relegates those of certain races, wage levels, and immigration backgrounds to secondhand status. That's the conclusion of Richard Besser, a pediatrician who provides care to many uninsured children, and Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, a scholar who worked on the National Academies’ landmark A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty report. Our policy choices, they write in The Hill, make certain populations more likely to live in poverty and suffer lifelong repercussions. We know how to reduce poverty; the expanded Child Tax Credit has done it over the past six months. But the expanded credit has expired. Dr. Besser and Dr. Acevedo-Garcia explain why a permanent expansion of a more equitable Child Tax Credit is essential to eliminating child poverty.


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