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Census: More Money Doesn’t Mean Health Coverage for Virginians

August 29, 2007

Richmond, VA – In Virginia, poverty is down slightly and median incomes have risen slightly, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday. But Michael Cassidy of The Commonwealth Institute says the good news is tempered by perspective: Poverty and income levels still have not recovered from the recession earlier in this decade.

"Despite five years of economic growth, we still haven’t returned to the pre-recession levels, in terms of the poverty rate or in terms of the median income."

However, perhaps the biggest change for Virginia is the number of people going without health insurance coverage -- a number that, for the first time, has topped one million. Cassidy says it’s interesting that Virginians may have more money, but fewer can afford health coverage.

"That demonstrates all the various elements at play in the health insurance market: the trends that demonstrate shrinking employer-sponsored plans and, in addition, a lot of people are part-timers who aren’t covered."

The U.S. Census Bureau report details are available online at www.census.gov

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - VA