Apr 12, 2019

Poor people spend more of their income on health care

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
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Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

People with lower incomes spend more of their money on health care, although wealthy people spend more in dollar amounts, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Why it matters: The cost of health care is growing more prominent as a social and political issue, and it hits low-income people hardest. Democrats differ on how far left they want to go, but Medicare for All is partially about redistributing these costs.

Between the lines: Like most other consumer goods, the price of health care services or employer-based insurance doesn't usually vary based on a person's income, although more government assistance is available to the poor.

  • That means that a monthly premium is a much larger percentage of someone's income who is making $25,000 than it is for someone making $250,000.

Wealthier people spend more dollar-wise on health care; while the bottom 10% of earners spends, on average, $2,119 a year on health care, the top 10% spends an average of $8,720.

  • Low-income people often have to forgo health care in order to pay for other necessities, like rent or food.

Go deeper: How health insurance contributes to income inequality

Go deeper

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Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

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Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.