Since the expiration in January of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) introduced by the US Bailout, 3.7 million children have fallen back into poverty. The consequences will be far-reaching, as child poverty is also a risk factor for negative childhood experiences (ACE). ACEs are potentially traumatic experiences in childhood, including but not limited to events such as witnessing or being the victim of violence, neglect, and abuse.
Nearly two-thirds of American adults report having experienced at least one ACE, increasing an individual’s risk of more than forty health outcomes and success in life later in life, including many of the leading national causes of death. ACEs also have a graduated dosage effect on health, meaning the more ACEs a person has experienced, the greater the impact on their health. The annual economic and social costs to society due to AECs are estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars.
Research reveals that children from low-income households in particular have a higher prevalence of ACE. For example, children from Utah households earning less than $24,999 per year are more likely to have experienced four or more ACEs. For prevention, the CDC recommends increasing economic support for families, the primary function of the CTC. The Build Back Better Act, which will extend the CTC, failed to pass the Senate because at least half of our nation’s senators (including those from Utah) seem to care more about voting with their party than voting with their party. to help fight child poverty. I implore you to encourage our senators to vote in favor of expanding the CLC. Lifting millions of children out of poverty in Utah and across the country will not only reduce their risk of ACE and subsequent negative health outcomes, but will also help us save billions of dollars in healthcare costs on the road.
Nya Harper, Logan
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