Friday, September 14, 2012

Uninsured and Income Gaps in the US and Pennsylvania

The Census Bureau has two estimates of the uninsured that comes out every year.  One for the national and state level which is based on the Current Population Survey and the other for the State and County level which is the Small Area Health Insurance Estimates or SAHIE that I've written many posts about here.  The bureau has just some out come out with national and state estimates as well as SAHIE.  The national under 65 year old uninsured rate went down from 18.4% in 2010 to 17.9% in 2011 which reflects an estimated total of 47.9 million in 2011 and of 49.1 million in 2010.  Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm (born in Canada) on her Current TV show was stressing how the total number of insured  increased from 256.6 million in 2010 to 260.2 million in 2011 but that increase is mostly due to increases in population.

The estimate for Pennsylvania was 12.7% in 2011, 12.9% in 2010, 12.7 in 2009, and 11.1% in 2008.  This difference is not statistically significant for 2009 thru 2011 which means that we should conclude that there are no differences for those years.  The SAHIE uses a different survey for 2008 to 2001.  2011 will be out next summer.  The estimates won't always agree but the general trends should be close.  The top 10 counties for 2010 and 2008 can be seen below. 


Counties with larger populations have smaller margins of errors or MOEs. the counties with large MOEs such as Bedford (rate 14.4% +/- 1.2%) should have rates that differ from Philadelphia (16.5% +/- 0.7%) but maybe not Sullivan (15.9% */- 1.6%).  We can be confident that the top 10 counties are all significantly higher than the state rate of 12.1% (+/- 0.2%). 

Below are the rates for 2008.  We can see that except for Sullivan County, whose rate and MOE hardly changed, the other top counties significantly increased in the rates of uninsured since 2008.  At the bottom is a table with the state and county trends for all 67 counties in Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2008.   The 2007 estimate are based on the Current Population Survey.  I do this to show what impact the recession is having on Pennsylvania's uninsured.  C3 board member Mike Stout often says we need to "strike while the metal is hot."  Looking at these statistics can show us where the metal is hot.  


**Update**

The Census Bureau came on C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss the national numbers with poverty results and information on how it relates to the widening income gap in the US.  You can see the 48 minute segment here.

 

**Related Posts**


New Census Uninsured Data Out: White & Female Rates Getting Worse in PA

 

Most Recent County Level Uninsured Estimates for Pennsylvania

 

Mike Stout & the Human Union Band Concert