After more than a decade, the number of people in the United States without health insurance coverage is rising. This indicates that the health care plan introduced by President Barack Obama might be weakening under the current’s government.
On the annual report, the Census Bureau said that the rise in household income last year was at the slowest pace in 4 years. Median household income in 2018 increased to $63,180, which was only 0.9% from 2017.
The report indicates that the current economic growth, which is the longest on record, doesn’t actually offer widespread benefits to the whole population. In spite of a considerable surge in the number of people working year-round and full-time last year, the number of citizens with private health insurance stayed unchanged.
On the bright side, the poverty rate went down to 11.8% for 4 consecutive years, which is the lowest one since 2001. While any income rise or poverty drop is showing the right direction, most households have hardly compensated for the loss over the past years.
Although income inequality is diminishing, it is still near record levels in 2017. Last year, up to 23% of family income in the United States belonged to the richest 5% of the population.
In 2018, it was estimated that around 27.5 million people, equivalent to 8.5% of the population, weren’t covered with health insurance. That was an 0.5% increase or 1.9 million people.
The number of people covered by Medicare is rising, suggesting the aging of the population. But Medicaid coverage decreased. More and more kids are also uninsured, and the same goes for adults between 35 and 64 years old.
Although the rise in the number of people without health insurance was small, it would mark a significant turning point in which the coverage gains under President Obama might be reversed. The figure this year is expected to increase again when the Congress revoked fines for those who are uninsured when they would afford coverage.
The results of this report will definitely play an important role in the next presidential election. Public health care is a major concern for Democrats. The party is blaming President Trump and accusing his administration of intentionally ruining Obama’s policies.
Over the past few years, Trump has been trying to revoke the Affordable Care Act and overturn this policy as unconstitutional. Recently, he also canceled a subsidy for all insurers, which led to a rise in premiums.