Number of Americans Without Health Insurance Rose in 2018

Marco Green
September 11, 2019

The median household had income of $63,179 in 2018, not statistically different from the 2017 median, the Census Bureau said.

The median USA household earned $63,200 previous year, meaning half of the families in the country earned more than this amount and half earned less.

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.

"We have found quite a big increase in full-time, year-round work that would tend to bring up incomes for working people", Trudi Renwick, an assistant division chief at the Census Bureau, said Tuesday in a call with reporters.

Meanwhile, the supplemental poverty rate - which considers the effect of public programs like refundable tax credits and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and serves as a broader indicator of the nation's economic well-being - was 13.1% past year, not significantly different from 2017, the new data shows.

The data suggest that two decades of economic expansion has failed to translate into significant gains for the typical family, as median household income has increased just 2.7% since 1999.

The Trump administration has taken a series of measures, including sharply cutting funding previously provided to groups that help people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that have weakened the law's benefits and protections. The share of people insured through Medicare - which primarily covers adults 65 and older and disabled people - rose by 0.4 percentage points to 17.8%, due in large part to the country's aging population.

Also, more children were uninsured a year ago, mainly because the share of lower-income kids covered by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined. That's because a previous Republican-led Congress repealed fines under the Affordable Care Act that had been meant to nudge people to sign up for coverage. This trend is expected to become a major theme in the 2020 president election. Health care is the leading issue for Democrats, with proposals including Sen.

In a statement, the California Democrat said Trump's ongoing efforts to erode Obama's health law have forced Americans to 'live in constant fear of an accident or injury that could spell financial ruin for their families'. He is now asking a federal appeals court to overturn it as unconstitutional. Trump also removed a subsidy for insurers, thereby triggering a jump in premiums.

Driving the increase, the first since 2009, was a decline in the share of people covered by Medicaid. Medicaid enrollment fell 0.7% previous year, the Census said.

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