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2 posts from April 2021


The Arc's Nicole Jorwic Discusses President Biden's Care Economy Proposals (April 28th)

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Over the past several weeks the Biden administration has incrementally released proposed infrastructure policies under the title, "Build Back Better."  The White House defines infrastructure to include human capital that under grid the functioning of the economy.   (As Bryce Covert noted in yesterdays The New York Times, Lanham Act funds, initially used to fund infrastructure deemed critical to the war effort, eventually became used to build child care centers when it was learned children were being locked in cars because working mothers had no other options.  Infrastructure policies that address the "care economy" are outlined in the administration's April 21 American Jobs Plan and their April 28 American Families Plan.  The Jobs Plan includes proposals to expand Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers, extend the Money Follows the Person program and policies to expand and improve elder care jobs.  Beyond paid family and medical leave and child related tax cuts, the American Families Plan proposes universal pre-school, free community college and related higher education supports expanded nutritional program policies.  Among other realities, the absence of universal day care, along with no long term care and paid leave policies, largely explains why compared to similar counties women are significantly under-represented in the US workforce at a significant cost to overall economic performance.   A recent AARP survey found one in five Americans, moreover women, served as a caregiver for an adult or child with health or functional needs in ’20.  Concerning elder care workforce, this labor market is expected to grow by approximately two million jobs over the next decade plus in caring for a significant percent of the 25% of Americans who will be 65 or older in 2040.   

This 30 minute interview begins with a brief explanation of The Arc's work.  Ms. Jorwic goes on to moreover outline/explain provisions of the American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan, discuses how the cost of these policies will be offset and the chances for Congressional approval.   

Ms. Nicole Jorwic is the Senior Director of Public Policy at The Arc, a national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental Nicole-Jorwic_2 disabilities and their families.  Prior to joining The Arc Ms. Jorwic served as Senior Policy Advisor for the state of Illinois.   Prior to that appointment, she served as the CEO/President of the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities where she continued the Institute’s mission to improve the lives of people with disabilities and assisted the leadership of the state of Illinois in developing public policy driven best practices in serving individuals with disabilities.  Ms. Jorwic i a special education attorney and an advocate for students with disabilities, with a focus on transition-aged youth.  Nicole received her JD and Child and Family Law Certificate, from Loyola University Chicago and received her BS from the University of Illinois.  Nicole's sibling, her brother Chris, has been diagnosed with autism.

For information on The Arc go to: https://thearc.org/

The administration's 15-page American Families Plan outline is at: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/WhctKJWQntDXPWTSKGmSvRdkQDZZGdFbkBMKMblcGFztpZqKwNkjXHzTzrTdkqczLNTNGgq?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1.

The administration's five-page American Jobs Plan outline is at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/21/fact-sheet-the-american-jobs-plan-will-support-womens-employment/. 


Mt Sinai's Professor Shanna Swan Discusses Her Recently Published Book, "Countdown" (April 22nd)

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In her recently published volume, co-authored with Stacey Colina, Countdown: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race, discuss the relationship between our exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the dramatic decline in global fertility rates over roughly the past half century – a finding that was initially documented in the early 1990s and again in 2017 when Professor Swan and her colleagues published a meta-analysis that received considerable attention.  Over the past four decades, the book authors' note, sperm levels among men in Western countries has declined by nearly 60 percent.  With adverse reproductive changes in males increasing by 1% per year, in theory at least, by 2045 Western men will be infertile.       

During this 35 minute discussion Professor Swan explains what are Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals (EDCs) and their effects.  She explains how EDCs adversely effect male sperm count and women's ability to reproduce along with lifestyle factors that exacerbate difficulty in reproduction, e.g., obesity and sedentary lifestyle, and negative side effects of testosterone of replacement therapy.   She discusses related declining fertility rates worldwide, the extent to which exposure to EDCs create an inter-generational reproductive problem, the extent to which homo sapiens qualify under the definition of an endangered species and what, if any, relationship there is between EDC exposure and gender fluidity and dysphoria.  The discussion concludes with Professor Swan's assessment of the extent to which EDCs have been regulated to date and what regulatory efforts should be made, for example, the US should take a lesson from the European Union's REACH program.                         

Dr. Shanna Swan is Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York City where is also a member of the Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures and the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute.  Professor Swan has worked for over twenty-five years to understand the threats posed by 0000072500014267606611 chemicals to our environment and our health, and, when necessary, to develop new paradigms to assess their risks.   Professor Swan works with a wide range of collaborators, including epidemiologists, biostatisticians, toxicologists, geneticists and systems biologists, to conduct studies and develop methods to evaluate the risks from such chemicals.  She has published more than 200 scientific papers and myriad book chapters and has been featured in extensive media coverage around the world. Her appearances include ABC News, NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes, CBS News, PBS, the BBC, PRI Radio, and NPR, as well as in leading magazines and newspapers, ranging from The Washington Post to Bloomberg News to New Scientist.  

For information on Countdown, go to: https://www.shannaswan.com/countdown or  https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Count-Down/Shanna-H-Swan/9781982113667.