Apr 12, 2019

Poor people spend more of their income on health care

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

Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Bernie's path to the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks yesterday during a rally at Houston University. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Lots of Democrats are in full panic that Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and get clobbered in the general election — and bring the party down, too. But the evidence, particularly the polling, doesn't back those doomsday warnings.

Why it matters: Virtually every national and swing state poll shows Sanders tied with or beating President Trump.  And, unlike every rival, he has a huge base of fervent, unshakable supporters he can only grow.

These swing voters don't like Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.

Why it matters: It’s voters living in states like these, including Florida and Pennsylvania, who fill pivotal roles electing America’s presidents, so we should listen.