Number of people without health insurance increases for first time in a decade

Mail Online | 9/10/2019 | Associated Press
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The proportion of Americans without health insurance edged up in 2018 - the first increase in nearly a decade after coverage had significantly increased under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Census Bureau also said in an annual report Tuesday that household income rose last year at its slowest pace in four years and finally matched its previous peak set in 1999.

Household - Income - %

Median household income rose 0.9% in 2018 to an inflation-adjusted $63,179, from $62,626 in 2017.

The data suggest that the economic expansion, now the longest on record at more than 10 years, is still struggling to provide widespread benefits to the U.S. population.

Income - Inequality - Year - Record - Levels

Though income inequality narrowed last year, it remains near record levels reached in 2017. Last year, the richest 5% of the U.S. population captured 23% of household income.

The data reflect a year in which U.S. economic growth was boosted by Trump's tax overhaul and a rise in government spending, the effects of which have begun to wane.

Unemployment - Rate - % - End - %

The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% by the end of 2018 from 4.1% a year earlier and has since declined further in what is now the longest U.S. economic expansion in history.

The Trump administration's tax changes, passed into law in late 2017, reduced tax rates for most Americans but were criticized for disproportionately benefiting the wealthy.

Growth - Number - Americans - Time - Year-round

Despite solid growth in the number of Americans working full time, year-round, the number of people with private health insurance was flat.

One bright spot in the report was that the poverty rate fell for the fourth straight year to 11.8%, its lowest point since 2001. The proportion of households headed by women that were poor fell to a record low.

Reduction - Poverty - Increase - Income - Step

'While any reduction in poverty or increase in income is a step in the right direction, most families have just barely made up the ground...
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