There was good news for President Obama in the new U.S. Census data released Wednesday: For the first time in three years, the number of Americans without health insurance dropped.
About 1.4 million more Americans have health insurance than one year ago. After three years of rising uninsured rates, the percentage of Americans without health insurance coverage dipped from 16.3% in 2010 to 15.7% in 2011.
Ezra Klein, guest-hosting on The Ed Show, explained a major reason for the decline was an uptick of newly insured young adults, many of whom benefitted from a provision in Obama's Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to let parents keep their children on their plans up to age 26, and which has kept 3 million young adults insured.
Another driving factor was that the number of Americans covered by government programs like Medicaid has expanded.
"There's a lot of things government doesn't do well," said Klein. "But one thing it does know how to do, which you can see here, and you can see frankly in every other developed nation on earth, is give people health insurance."
The Census data wasn't all roses, however. The median household income dropped to $50,054 in 2011, about 1.5% from the previous year. Meanwhile, income inequality grew.
"The rich are getting richer," said Klein.