Poverty in America — the almost official estimate
11.7.2011 1 Comment
A record number of Americans — 49.1 million — are poor, based on a new census measure that for the first time takes into account rising medical costs and other expenses.
The numbers released Monday are part of a first-ever supplemental poverty measure aimed at providing a fuller picture of poverty. Although considered experimental, they promise to stir fresh debate over Social Security, Medicare and programs to help the poor as a congressional supercommittee nears a Nov. 23 deadline to make more than $1 trillion in cuts to the federal budget.
Based on the revised formula, the number of poor people exceeds the record 46.2 million, or 15.1 percent, that was officially reported in September.
Broken down by group, Americans 65 or older sustained the largest increases in poverty under the revised formula — nearly doubling to 15.9 percent, or 1 in 6 — because of medical expenses that are not accounted for in the official rate. Those include rising Medicare premiums, deductibles and expenses for prescription drugs. [emphases added]
Life will become even direr for America’s senior citizens and low-income wage earners when the Federal government finally and completely commits itself to imposing an austerity regime on the country.
- Number of US “poor” reaches record high under new census formula (guardian.co.uk)
- Poverty ensnares record 49.1M Americans (ctv.ca)
- Alternative Census Measure Indicates Poverty Higher Than Previously Thought (huffingtonpost.com)
- New Poverty High: Revised Census Formula Shows 49.1 Million (huffingtonpost.com)
- US poverty at new high: 16 percent, or 49.1M (seattlepi.com)
- U.S. poverty hits record high (business.financialpost.com)
- Number of Poor Americans Reaches 49 Million (usnews.com)
- Revised government formula shows new poverty high: 49.1M (usatoday.com)
- Revised govt formula shows new poverty high: 49.1M (sfgate.com)
- New census method puts US poor at 49.1 million (alternet.org)