New poverty, income, and health coverage analysis

Source: Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute, Income Picture, August 26, 2008

The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual release of poverty, income, and health coverage held some good news for Americans, but drilling down below the surface reveals a continuing erosion of the economy for working people. Although median household income increased slightly and the poverty rate was essentially unchanged from 2006 to 2007, incomes for working families (as opposed to retirees) actually dropped. The drop was especially significant when compared to median income in 2000, which is a better comparison because–like 2007–it was the final year of a cycle of economic growth. Given current conditions, income levels will surely decline further in 2008. The biggest surprise of the release came in the area of health care coverage. The number of uninsured dropped slightly in 2007, but the decline was due to an increase in government-sponsored coverage for children. Meanwhile, the rate of employer-based insurance coverage continued its seven-year decline.
See also:
Overall health insurance coverage rises, but masks decline in private coverage

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