STATEMENT: Census Bureau Data Highlight Trump’s Assault on Americans’ Access to Health Care, Says CAP’s Ben Olinsky

Washington, D.C. — Following the release of the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States for 2018, Ben Olinsky, senior vice president for Policy and Strategy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

The census data make plain the consequences of the Trump administration’s attack on Americans’ health care. This year’s census data show an increase in the uninsured rate—with almost 2 million fewer Americans having health insurance. These data underscore how the administration’s sabotage has made it harder for Americans to get health care. Further, the data show the uninsured rate is markedly higher in states that have been stonewalled by conservative policymakers who have refused to expand Medicaid. These developments are alarming, but the Trump administration’s lawsuit to end the Affordable Care Act threatens to harm the health care system further, imperiling coverage for 20 million Americans and protections for people with preexisting conditions.

The census data also showed that despite a long period of economic growth and soaring corporate profits, the forgotten men and women of the United States are not seeing the same benefits as the wealthy and powerful. The growth in real median household income slowed significantly in 2017 and slowed even further in 2018. Growth in real median household income was a disappointing 0.9 percent—down from 1.8 percent in 2017, 3.1 percent in 2016, and 5.1 percent in 2015. As the census release described, median household income was “not statistically different from the 2017 median, following three consecutive years of annual increases.” Given the massive ground that the middle class has lost over decades, treading water is not nearly good enough. It’s clear that Trump’s policies, from the massive corporate tax cut to the attacks on workers’ rights and efforts to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have done nothing to lift the fortunes of everyday Americans. The gender pay gap persists at an unacceptable level, underscoring the administration’s failure to address the entrenched pay disparities experienced by women.

Today’s data release merely reinforces what we already know: The Trump administration is pursuing an agenda designed to line the pockets of millionaires and billionaires, while the rest of us get left further and further behind.

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