It is sad that many Americans believe they would actually be better off with the repeal of The Affordable Healthcare Act better known as Obamacare (a name I think President Obama should embrace as “Obama cares”. An excellent article titled “New Census Poverty Measure Shows Medical Expenses Push 10 Million More Americans into Poverty ”, written by By Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., Cathy Schoen, M.S., and Karen Davis, Ph.D. illustrates the decimation of the middle class by ever growing healthcare and health insurance costs.
It is not hard then to see why the President was adamant that Healthcare Reform irrespective of the difficulty of passage given history as well as the opposition from all Republicans and many Blue Dog Democrats had to be passed to save the middle class. It is immoral that a rich country like ours with one of the worst income and wealth disparity in the world had been unable to begin the establishment of a sensible healthcare regime for our country.
While the Affordable Healthcare Act is much less than optimal, it presents a platform from which a sound national humane and civilized healthcare system can evolve from. This is something we have never had. This is something all major industrialized countries with better healthcare outcomes at a much lower cost than us have.
It is imperative that between now and the election that the repeal of Obamacare be a litmus test. Americans must be educated to the fact that any politician vying for its repeal is further supporting the destruction of the middle class and the increase in poverty in order to obscenely further transfer middle class wealth to the top 1%.
New Census Poverty Measure Shows Medical Expenses Push 10 Million More Americans into Poverty
November 10, 2011
A new report released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau finds that the growing burden of health care costs in family budgets is impoverishing millions of U.S. families. Using an experimental "supplemental poverty measure," that adjusts income for in-kind income transfers like food stamps as well as significant costs such as payroll taxes, the report shows that if health care costs were subtracted from family incomes, 10 million more people in the United States would be officially poor.
This new estimate of the effect of health care costs and other factors on poverty is the culmination of a 16-year effort by the Census Bureau to develop a measure of poverty that is more reflective of families' actual income and expenses. Exhibit 1 shows the effects of these adjustments on the new measure, with policies like the Earned Income Tax Credit reducing poverty rates, and work-related expenses such as child care increasing poverty rates. The net effect of all the new dimensions in the measure is an increase in the national poverty rate to 16.0 percent in 2010 compared with the official poverty rate of 15.2 percent. Poverty among children actually declines with the new measure, with the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and the school lunch program particularly benefiting young people in poor families.
But of all the new dimensions in the supplemental poverty measure, out-of-pocket health care spending has the greatest overall effect on poverty. When family incomes are adjusted for out-of-pocket medical costs, the national poverty rate as measured by the new supplemental measure increases by 3.3 percentage points, or about 10 million people (Exhibit 2). Poverty increases across all age groups after subtracting medical costs from income, with 2 million more children, 5 million more working-age adults ages 18 to 64, and 3 million more adults age 65 and older falling below the poverty threshold. The effect on older adults, who have the highest rates of chronic health problems, is particularly severe, with the estimated poverty rate rising by more than seven percentage points.
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