For the first time in years, there has been an increase in the share of Americans without health insurance even though fewer people are living in poverty, according to new data from the Census Bureau. About 27.5 million people, or 8.5 percent of the population, lacked health insurance for 2018, up from 7.9 percent the year before. This is the first increase since 2014 when the Affordable Care Act took full effect. Experts attribute this partly to the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine that law, according to The New York Times.
The statistics are striking because the economy is doing well: The share of Americans living in poverty fell to 11.8 percent, the lowest level since 2001. “In a period of continued economic growth, continued job growth, you would certainly hope that you wouldn’t be going backwards when it comes to insurance coverage,” said Sharon Parrott, senior vice president at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities told the Times.