The Census Bureau on Thursday released a report on trends in income and health insurance coverage between 2008 and 2009. As expected, the numbers show a substantial deterioration in Americans' economic security. According to the report, in 2009 one in three Americans had incomes that fall below the amount most Americans and various budget estimates show is necessary to “make ends meet” -- $45,000 to $50,000 for a family of four. The report also shows substantial increases in the poverty rate and rate of people without health insurance, as well as declines in median income for various demographic groups such as young adults, Blacks and non-citizens (although, not overall).
The numbers, however, do not reflect legislation enacted in 2009 and 2010 to boost job growth and increase economic security. Financial assistance provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to low- and moderate-income households comes in forms not factored into the official poverty and median income numbers. In addition, many of the investments in the Recovery Act were not made until the latter half of 2009 and this year. Also, health care reform has only begun to be implemented. Most of the expansions in coverage will not occur until 2014.