Tomorrow the Census Bureau releases its annual report that allows us to drill down on how many different family types are doing in the current expansion. I’ve written up my expectations over at WaPo.
As you see, I believe the combination of very low inflation last year and the tightening job market will have lowered poverty and lifted middle-class incomes. It’s also important to look at the alternative poverty measure that the Census Bureau will release tomorrow, since it captures more policy inputs (the value of SNAP benefits, refundable tax credits) than the official rate.
I strongly suspect the Census data to show the ongoing decline in the percent of Americans without health insurance. Numerous other data sources have already revealed this finding for 2015 (see figure below, e.g.), prompting this text which I excerpt here as well:
I don’t mean to be dramatic, but given that health-care reform — Obamacare, if you prefer — is a complex policy thrown into a complex sector in a complex world, I think an objective person would be hard-pressed to find a more dramatic example of a policy having its intended consequence of reducing the share of Americans without health coverage. No one’s saying the Affordable Care Act doesn’t need some work — recalibration is how I think of it. But trust me when I tell you, that trend reversal you see in the figure below — a trend I believe will be further corroborated in tomorrow’s data — is one of the greatest successes of modern politics and policy.
I hope to have my write-up of tomorrow’s results up at WaPo a few hours after the 10AM release.