Children and Families in Trouble: Census Data Show Declining Health Coverage and Enduring Poverty

Nearly a decade into a long economic recovery from the Great Recession, the U.S. Census Bureau’s poverty and health insurance reports for 2018 show resounding signs of trouble for our country’s lowest-income residents. Most alarmingly, the number of people with health insurance coverage declined for the first time since 2009, by nearly 2 million, reversing the trend of dramatic and historic gains in coverage since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Among children, 425,000 more were uninsured in 2018 versus 2017, reversing a decades-long trend toward greater coverage. This concerning reversal, including a significant worsening among Hispanic children and among young children (under age 6), likely reflects multiple attacks on health insurance coverage for people with low incomes. Notably, the Trump Administration is waging ongoing efforts to undermine the ACA and Medicaid access and a hateful anti-immigrant agenda that’s causing a chilling effect on immigrant families’ access to public programs.

To learn more, read this brief by Hannah Matthews.

Also, see our statement from the day of the reports' release with initial responses to the data.