Archive for the ‘poverty’ Tag

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Ezra Klein “After three consecutive years of increasing poverty rates, new data released by the Census Bureau finds the poverty rate remained unchanged at 15 percent in 2011. That`s better than going up. That means 46.2 million Americans are living at or below the federal poverty line.

But, and this is important to remember, that`s before you take into account all the anti-poverty programs, like Food Stamps and the Earned
Income Tax Credit that we have going. When you bring those into the calculation, the number is probably lower by many millions of people. So
that`s good.

While the poverty levels held, the census did find a rise in income inequality. The income of the highest quintile of earners rose 1.6
percent, while the middle income quintiles fell. So the rich are getting richer and the rest of the country is not.

But we do have some genuine good news here tonight. The number of uninsured Americans, which usually goes up in bad economies, is dropping. About 1.4 million more Americans have health insurance than had it one year ago. After three years of rising uninsured rates, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage dropped from 16.3 percent in 2010 to 15.7 percent in 2011.

And for the first time in a decade, the percentage of people with private insurance did not drop. Some players are not throwing people off. Census officials cited two major factors driving down the uninsured rate. The number of young adults ages 19 to 25 without insurance dropped two percent, the largest of any group. That is largely because health reform, the Affordable Care Act, allowed kids up to age 26 to stay on their parents` insurance, which has kept an estimated three million young adults insured.

And the number of Americans covered by government programs such as Medicaid has expanded. There are a lot of things government doesn`t do well. But one thing it does know how to do, which you can see here, and you can see, frankly, in every other developed nation on Earth, is give people health insurance.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49021527/ns/msnbc-the_ed_show/#.UFXF-q5qDTo

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