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Affordable Care Act

More Americans go without health insurance for the first time in a decade


(USA Today) – For the first time in a decade, more Americans went without health insurance in 2018, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

The drop came as the Trump administration took steps to weaken the Affordable Care Act and toughen Medicaid requirements.

It contributed to a mixed picture of household financial health last year as median income was stagnant while poverty declined.

The median U.S. household income was $63,179, according to the Census Bureau, up 0.9% on an inflation-adjusted basis from the $61,372 midpoint in 2017. Census said the change wasn’t statistically significant, suggesting median income was roughly flat. That followed gains of 5.2% in 2015, 3.2% in 2016 and 1.8% in 2017.

Household income includes bonuses, Social Security, public assistance payments and interest and dividends from investment, among other sources.

The record 10-year-old economic expansion continued to provide jobs to more Americans, lifting many out of poverty. There were 38.1 million people living in poverty last year, about 1.4 million fewer than in 2017. The poverty rate fell for the fourth straight year, from 12.3% to 11.8%. For the first time in 11 years, the rate was significantly lower than in 2007, the year before the Great Recession.

While the declining poverty rate was heartening, some experts said the stagnant median household income signaled that many Americans still struggle to make ends meet.

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