Newly released Census Bureau data on the distribution of income, poverty and health insurance coverage reveals that tens of millions of Americans are still struggling to get by with far too little, according to East Bay Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
With nearly 15 percent of the population living in poverty – that’s one in seven Americans – it’s past time for Congress to get serious about addressing the roots of income inequality and creating pathways out of poverty and into the middle class, said Lee.
“Sadly, poverty rates remain far higher among children, seniors and in communities of color,” said Congresswoman Lee.
For African Americans, the poverty rate is 26.2 percent, more than twice the poverty rate of White Americans, which is 10.1 percent.
For Latinos, the poverty rate is 23.6 percent. And while children only make up 23 percent of the population, they account for a third of all Americans living in poverty.
“This is wrong,” said Lee. “I urge my colleagues to use these numbers as a wake-up call and recommit to combating poverty in America.
“From this report, we saw that congressional policy can have a direct impact on American lives,” she continued. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured Americans dropped by 8.8 million.
“Today, there are millions more individuals who have access to doctors, medicine, and the security of knowing they’re covered.