Median Household Income Barely Budged in 2018 -Census

  • Median Household Income Barely Budged in 2018 -Census

Median Household Income Barely Budged in 2018 -Census

"In general, the uninsured rate in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility prior to January 1, 2018, was lower than in states that did not expand eligibility", the Census Bureau report released Tuesday states. The poverty rate for women fell to 12.9 per cent in 2018 from 13.6 per cent in 2017, while the poverty rate for men was 10.6 per cent in 2018, not statistically changed from 2017.

Median household income in the U.S. stalled in 2018, even as median earnings rose and the poverty rate fell to its lowest level in almost two decades, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. On a percent basis, the share of uninsured Americans rose from 7.9% to 8.5%, reflecting the first year-over-year increase since 2008-09, the agency said.

Though income inequality narrowed previous year, it remains near record levels reached in 2017.

According to regional data released by the Census, median household income inside major US cities grew by a statistically significant 5.4%.

The exact cause for the decline in health coverage remains unclear, but some health policy experts have pointed to the Trump administration's efforts to undermine the ACA as a likely explanation. And there were more uninsured adults ages 35-64.

The increase in uninsured Americans is striking partly because of the economy's expansion and increased payrolls. That's because a previous Republican-led Congress repealed fines under the Affordable Care Act that had been meant to prod people to sign up for coverage.

Expanding insurance access was a main goal of the ACA, the statute forged by Democrats almost a decade ago that has reshaped much of the health care system.

Democrats are laying the blame Trump, long accusing his administration of deliberately undermining Obama's health care law. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday blamed Trump's "cruel health care sabotage" for the rising number of uninsured.

Trump spent most of his first year in office trying unsuccessfully to get a Republican Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump also removed a subsidy for insurers, thereby triggering a jump in premiums. The share of people who had no health insurance also rose for the first time in about a decade, even as workers' median earnings increased 3.4% and an additional 2.3 million people became full-time, year-round workers.

The Trump administration has also rolled out some regulatory changes of its own meant to expand coverage. A year ago alone, more than 2 million people found full-time jobs, the Census report said.

With health care already a central issue in the 2020 presidential campaigns and a prime voter concern, meanwhile, the fresh evidence that insurance is slipping further out of Americans' reach is virtually certain to escalate partisan warring about Americans' access to affordable coverage. Outside those urban areas, in the rural and suburban regions where Trump's support is strongest, household income barely changed.