While Trump Prattles On About The Economy, Staggering Number Of Americans Can’t Meet Basic Needs


By Libby Watson
Splinter News (8/27/18)

A new study by the Urban Institute published Tuesday found that 40 percent of Americans can’t meet at least one basic need—food, healthcare, housing, or utilities—even as the economy approaches nearly full employment with only a 4.4 percent unemployment rate. Remember this as the president boasts about the stock market, as he does frequently, without realizing it’s an indictment of his policies: The people the president cares about are making obscene amounts of cash while the rest of America is falling behind.

The findings in the study reveal how widespread the struggle to meet basic needs is among Americans. Sixty percent of those who reported at least one hardship reported experiencing two or more. Almost a quarter of adults overall—23 percent—reported experiencing food insecurity in the last year. A total of 35 percent reported either problems paying medical bills or having an unmet medical need that they couldn’t afford to treat. More than half of black and Hispanic respondents reported experiencing at least one hardship compared to 34 percent of white people.

One interesting wrinkle: families who made just above the poverty line were more likely to report problems with medical bills than those below it, likely because of Medicaid, although a quarter of those below the poverty still reported struggling with medical bills. (The federal poverty level is $24,600 for a family of four.) This is the inevitable result of means testing access to government-funded healthcare and an indictment of how absurdly expensive healthcare is, even on the Affordable Care Act exchange. …

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  • Link To Urban Institute Study ‘Material Hardship Among Nonelderly Adults & Their Families in 2017 / Implications For The Safety Net’, cited in above article: Link to Story

(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivaive use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )