THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I want to thank you, Jamie, for inviting us to this interview and for the courage – your story and your ability to tell it. I know it is not easy.
And when we talk about this topic, there are at least 8 million – in some estimates, up to 60 million – people in America who are middle-aged who raise their children while taking care of their parents. And the demands on them that correspond to the demands of daily needs – the physical demands, the emotional demands, the financial demands – are immense.
And the skills required are very diverse and often require a lot of study and training. It takes care of children, which of course requires everything from preparing food and feeding the children to homework to helping with tying shoes and getting to bed on time.
The skills required to look after parents and aging parents – again, yes, preparing meals, but also accompanying them to doctor or chemotherapy appointments, the unpredictability of when they might fall or fall, or the immediate and sudden and unpredictable Health care.
And all of this carried mostly by women and working women in America who had to give up their chosen profession and job to do this very important work that is born of love and a sense of noble duty and obligation. But tirelessly – tirelessly in terms of the work required.
Jamie talked to me about waking up at dawn every day. When the phone rings, she is never sure that someone she loves is in dire need of her support and help.
So Build Back Better was born out of the feeling that Joe Biden – the President and I believe that it is our shared responsibility as a society to support parents, to support the children of parents in the work of a noble, good and important work is.
Build Back Better focuses on human infrastructure as well as roads and bridges. I define infrastructure as: What do you need to get to where you need to go? And sometimes a parent just needs to go to sleep. (Laughter) Right?
So what do we have to do? And that’s about the nursing economy. It’s about understanding the nobility of the people who do this work, which is physical work, emotional work. We don’t pay them enough – no sick leave, no paid family leave.
And so, Build Back Better is designed in such a way that we understand that we as a society need to give them the support so that families can function the way we want.
Eldercare – Build Back Better means seniors and our older relatives have had long lives of hard work and want to stay in their home, but may need to build some bars to get through – physically – through the house. They may need a ramp if they – if they are using a wheelchair. Let’s give them the resources to live with dignity in the home they want to stay in.
Incidentally, society as a whole benefits not only because it is the right thing – it is even cheaper than when our seniors have to go to a supervised facility.
What I hope the conversation we’ve had is really about making it clear that there are very real people, families – hard working families – who are behind the politics and efforts of our Build Back Agenda that are If they were our neighbor or a relative of ours, we would all want to do it.
So there we are, and thank you again for allowing us –
MRS. SMITH: Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: – To be at home with you.
MRS. SMITH: And Care can’t wait. And I know you work so hard
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MRS. SMITH: – to try to solve this problem.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes. Yes sir.
MRS. SMITH: Thank you.