Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual snapshot of poverty, income, and health insurance in the United States. And following 2015’s historic gains, 2016 was another banner year on all three fronts: Poverty is now finally back to pre-recession levels, dropping from 13.5 percent to 12.7 percent; median income is up 3.2 percent to $59,039; and the share of Americans without health coverage has continued to decline, reaching a new record low of 8.8 percent.
But while all this is cause for celebration, today’s data also serve as a stark reminder of how much is at stake in the current political climate. That’s because they reflect continued progress made in 2016 thanks to policies such as the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion and investments in programs that help families afford the basics, from Social Security to nutrition assistance, to tax credits for working families—all of which are at risk under President Trump’s and congressional Republicans’ budgets.
The above excerpt was originally published in Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity.
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