|Poverty: U.S. Population|
The overall percentage of the U.S. population living below the poverty threshold.
Real Median Income Gained as Poverty Held Steady in 2007
Published Friday, July 24th, 2009
The new report on the US official poverty rate released by the US Census Bureau called “Income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2007” has stated that real median household income in the United States climbed 1.3% between 2006 and 2007, reaching $50,233. The US official poverty rate in 2007 was 12.5% (37.3 million), which is steady from 2006 (36.5 million). This and other influences has lead the number of people without health insurance coverage to decline from 47 million (15.8%) in 2006 to 45.7 million (15.3%) in 2007.
Broken down, minorities also gained in real median income adjusted for inflation, which rose between 2006 and 2007 for black ($33,916 in 2007) and non-Hispanic white households ($54,920 in 2007), the first such increase since 1999. However, for Asians ($66,103 in 2007) and Hispanics ($38,679 in 2007) real income did not change. The family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 9.8% and 7.6 million, unchanged from 2006. As for Female-householders/No-Husband-Present the rate was 28.3% (a decrease of 2.8 percentage points) and 13.6% for those with male householder and no-wife-present. The US Office of management and budget has updated the weighted average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2007 as $21,203, for a family of 3 at $16,530, 2 at $13,540, and 1 at $10,590.
Poverty Income Threshold Increases
Published Friday, February 27th, 2009
Those uninsured and working poor who are trying to qualify for public health programs have received an economic helping hand as the 2009 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines were increased to reflect the increases in the Consumer Price Index. The Current Population Survey for 2009 has raised the poverty threshold—the dollar amount the Census Bureau uses to determine poverty status—for a family of 4 to $21,203. As a result, the number of citizens who can now qualify of free or low cost government health insurance has risen.
In 2007, more than 36.5 million people, about 12.5% of the U.S. population were living in poverty. The poverty threshold for 2009 has increased by 2.8% over the 2006 and 2007 thresholds. At the same time, since 1980, the Health Care Consumer Price Index has experienced annual increases ranging from $6.2 billion to the recent 2007 $14.9 billion climb. This has resulted in the percentage of those uninsured to steadily rise to an average 15.3% of the total US population as health insurance prices rise to compensate. However, only 33% of the 47 million uninsured Americans are now eligible but are not signed up, which leaves 31.49 million without recourse to health care insurance.
The Final Stimulus Package
Published Friday, February 20th, 2009
This week in Denver, the President signed the $787 billion stimulus package that streaked its way through Congress. The final bill is split into 36% for tax cuts and 64% percent in spending and money for social programs. Overall, it is $38 billion different from the original plan President Obama had introduced earlier in January. Highlights include:
• $787 billion total, $38 billion subtracted from original
• $308 billion in total spending, $142 billion subtracted (Federal Budget)
• $190 billion in Federal Aid for Education, Public Safety, Low-income, Individual and Health Care (Number of U.S. citizens below the poverty level)
• $288 billion in tax relief ($800—down from $1000—tax cuts for families, $400 tax cuts for individuals through social security payroll deductions, Business, Manufacturing, Economy, Infrastructure, Energy and other tax cuts), $13 billion added (Tax as a percentage of GDP)
• $48 billion for infrastructure, $42 billion subtracted (Spending on infrastructure)
• $90 billion Medicaid aid to states, $3 billion added (Public and private expenditures for health care)
• $53.6 billion to aid state in education, $25.4 billion subtracted
(Spending for the Department of Education)
• $44.6 billion for additional school funding to balance education budgets, prevent cutbacks and modernize schools, $3.6 billion added (Average finances by school district size and Higher education spending)
• $45 billion to encourage renewable energy production, $9 billion subtracted
(Non-Renewable v. Renewable)
• $18.6 billion for health care technology incentives and research for effective treatments, $5.4 billion subtracted (Cost per patient per day and per stay)
• $16 billion for Science/technology, equal (Research funds for science and technology)
• $15.6 billion to increase Pell Grants by $500, $0.6 billion added
Of course, this is just the combined highlights; the Stimulus and Recovery Act is well over 1,000 pages long. The administration, in an effort to become more tranparent, has set up a site in which anyone can track how and where the money is being spent: www.recovery.gov
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Poverty - http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/
The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
The Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a federal agency funding state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families.