U.S. Must Step Up and Provide Family Leave, Heymann Says

Professor Jody Heymann joined PBS’ “News Hour” and NPR’s “On Point” to discuss the debate over national paid family leave in the United States. Democrats continue to haggle over a social spending bill, and a proposal to include paid leave remains in limbo. “Nearly the entire world offers paid leave,” with 181 out of 192 countries offering paid sick leave and 185 offering paid maternity leave, said Heymann, distinguished professor of public health, public policy and medicine. “We know that we can afford it,” she said. “It saves money because it makes people healthier,” lowering health care costs. For small businesses unable to bear the full burden of providing paid family leave for all their employees, “that’s what the social insurance system is for, and that’s how most of the world does it,” she said. As for the political forces at play, Heymann added, “Hearing from all Americans about what a difference this would make would be a good place to start.”


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