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On September 10, 2019 the Census Bureau released the annual national-level income, poverty and health insurance statistics for 2018 in two reports, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018 and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018. According to the reports, “the rate and number of people without health insurance increased from 7.9%, or 25.6 million, in 2017 to 8.5%, or 27.5 million, in 2018.” As noted in analysis of these data, this is the first time the number of uninsured has increased since 2010, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed.

Before the passage of the ACA, more than 15% of Americans lacked coverage. The current reversal in coverage gains reflects this administration’s concerted effort to undermine the ACA. The loss in health insurance is particularly alarming given the positive numbers in the report: the poverty rate continued to fall and the median income remained statistically unchanged. This raises concerns that national health insurance coverage rates could decline even more dramatically if individuals lose employer-based coverage or if the United States goes into a recession.

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September 12, 2019 – K. Kertesz

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