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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after new data was released from the Census Bureau. The Bureau’s report shows that during the Bush Administration’s first term, the number of Americans without insurance increased by 6 million, the number of Americans living in poverty increased by 5.4 million, and the median household income for Americans dropped by $1,670.
“Treasury Secretary John Snow admitted this month that Republican economic policies are not benefiting all Americans, and the devastating numbers released today by the Census Bureau prove him right. This new report marks the fourth year in a row under the Bush Administration that the number of Americans living in poverty has increased. In total, 5.4 million more Americans slipped into poverty from 2000 through 2004, an increase of 1.4 percentage points. And more than one of every six American children can be counted among those living in poverty.
“Equally alarming is the increase in the number of Americans living without insurance during the Bush Administration’s first term. During that time, 6 million more Americans fell into the ranks of the uninsured. Republicans have failed to do anything to make health care more affordable or health insurance more available, something American families desperately need since, as the new Census numbers show, the median household income fell by $1,670.
“As the budget process continues to move through Congress, the Republicans’ proposed cuts to vital programs like Medicaid will further undermine the health and economic security of the most vulnerable Americans.
“Democrats believe in economic policies that will increase prosperity and opportunity for all Americans, not policies that will leave more people in poverty, without insurance, and with lower household incomes. President Bush and Congressional Republicans have turned their backs on the most vulnerable Americans, but they can’t run from these abysmal numbers.”