Wednesday, August 29, 2018

It's tough being an American

According to an Urban Institute survey, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs last year, including paying for food, health care, housing or utilities.

“Economic growth and low unemployment alone do not ensure everyone can meet their basic needs,” the authors wrote.

The average unemployment rate for 2017 was 4.4 percent, a low that followed years of decline.  Among the households with at least one working adult, more than 30 percent reported hardship.

More than 23 percent of households struggled to feed their family at some point during the year. 
That was followed by problems paying a family medical bill, reported by about 18 percent. 
A similar percentage didn’t seek care for a medical need because of the cost.
Roughly 13 percent of families missed a utility bill payment at some point during the year. 
And 10 percent of families either didn’t pay the full amount of their rent or mortgage, or they paid it late.

The Urban Institute survey comes at a time when lawmakers are considering cuts to some safety-net programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP and housing assistance. The researchers said that lawmakers run the risk of increasing the rate of hardship if they reduce support services.

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