Today, the Census Bureau released a report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. Despite a small increase in 2007, real median household income is still below that of 2000, and the number of people living in poverty grew to 37.3 million last year, up from 36.5 million last year. Other findings include:
The number of Americans living in poverty grew to 37.3 million (12.5 percent) in 2007, up from 36.5 million in 2006, and despite improvements over the past three years, real median American household income is still below that of 2000.
The number of Americans without health insurance totals 45.7 million — even though the percentage of Americans without health insurance did fall from 15.8% in 2006 to 15.3% in 2007. That improvement is only due to the government health care programs of Medicare and Medicaid, which Democrats created and have always championed and which Republicans continue to try to slash. Indeed, employer-provided health insurance and other private health insurance continued to erode in 2007.
Today's economic news from the Census covers 2006-2007 and does not take into account the consequences of the economic downturn that began late last year. Since January, the number of American jobs has dropped by 463,000 and the unemployment rate has climbed to 5.7 percent — the highest level in more than four years. Real earnings have decreased by 3.1 percent over the past 12 months.
Speaker Pelosi released the following statement on the report:
Today's Census report confirms that the economic worries of American families are all too real and underscore the urgent need for a New Direction on the kitchen table issues facing American families.
Since George Bush became President, Americans are coping with rising costs of health care, energy, groceries and education. Since 2000, the real median income of non-elderly households has declined by nearly $2,200, nearly 6 million more families are living in poverty, and 7 million more Americans are without health care coverage. It is no wonder that families worry that the American Dream is no longer in reach — they are working harder, but are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet.
Americans cannot afford another four years of Bush economic policies that Senator John McCain is promising, which have resulted in an economy on the brink of recession that is leaving middle-class families behind.