Sen. Casey proposes health care for children at birth, affordable child care

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling for better conditions that would allow American children to grow and flourish.

He announced a proposal for his new plan — called the Five Freedoms for America’s Children — at the Please Touch Museum on Monday, where he said America’s children are abandoned by the government when it comes to health, economic security, education, nutrition and safety. 

“Too often, the federal government has checked out — not enough of a partner for our states and not enough of a full partner for our counties,” he said. “We’re still at a point in America where 4 million American children are uninsured. That’s an abomination.”

His plan would pay for children’s health care from birth to age 18; provide affordable child care and early learning education; offer free school breakfast and lunch; and strengthen child abuse prevention programs. Casey said the program would be paid for with a number of changes in the tax code. 

As a way to offer financial security, for instance, Casey’s plan would expand the current Child Tax Credit and allow parents to claim it monthly. It also creates a children’s savings account of $500 annually in government contributions, which can be used later on in life for college, home ownership or a business enterprise.

Casey said the money will come from “increasing taxes on very wealthy Americans and increasing taxes on corporations, from where they are now.”

“These add up to a little more than $7 trillion — with a T — and we know that there’s revenue,” he continued. “You just have to decide if you want to have a corporate tax rate of 21 (percent), instead of 28. We think a 28 would be reasonable.”

Casey said a 28% corporate tax rate alone would generate $700 billion, which would benefit the 12.8 million children who are currently living in poverty.

He also wants to increase the top tax bracket for individuals to its previous level of 39.6%.