Amy Goodman for Democray Now reports:
New figures show the number of Americans living in poverty and lacking health insurance has reached the highest levels on record. According to the Census Bureau, 43.6 million people—about one in seven—lived below the poverty level of $22,000 for a family of four in 2009. It was the largest number since the census began keeping track fifty-one years ago, and an increase of four million people from 2008. The numbers pushed the national poverty rate to a fifteen-year high of 14.3 percent. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the number of people in poverty would have been higher by 3.3 million were it not for unemployment benefits. The number of Americans with incomes less than half the poverty line also hit a record high of nearly 20 million, or 6.3 percent of the population. More than one in five children lived in poverty—one in three for African American children. The number of uninsured Americans meanwhile grew for the first time on record, from 46.3 million people in 2008 to 50.7 million people last year. The proportion of Americans with employment health coverage reached its lowest rate in twenty years, at nearly 56 percent.
A report by Russia Today on the same topic: