I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Census: Poverty rose in 2010, income fell and health insurance coverage unchanged
The U.S. Census Bureau released its findings on income, poverty and health insurance coverage for 2010, finding that median household income declined by 2.3 percent to $49,445, poverty rose to 15.1 percent from 14.3 percent and the number of uninsured rose by a statistically insignificant number.
The numbers on income and poverty show the magnitude of the recession. Since 2007, household income has declined by 6.4 percent and remains 7.1 percent below its 2001 peak. The percentage of people living in poverty — an income of $22,314 for a family of four – was at its highest level since 1993. Another sign of the high unemployment rates (or simply decreased income) was the number of “doubled-up” households — or households with an additional non-spouse, partner or someone attending school — increased by 2 million to 21.8 million, and the percent rose by 1.3 percentage points from 17 percent to 18.3 percent. Joblessness has been taking its toll on young adults, too — 5.9 million young adults aged 25-34 lived with their parents, an increase from 4.7 million before the recession.
In health coverage, the percentages of insured and uninsured both increased, but not by a statistically significant number. Despite reduced incomes, the percentage receiving Medicaid (15.9 percent) remained unchanged, too soon to show any statistical effects from the Affordable Care Act. The exchanges in the health reform law aim to reduce the number of uninsured by offering subsidized private insurance and do not take effect until 2014. Measures such as expanding coverage to young adults under 26 through their parents’ insurance or prohibiting companies from rescinding coverage based on pre-existing conditions did not take effect until September 2010.