With all the talk of insurance mandates and the expansion of Medicaid, I just thought it would be interesting to actually look at the numbers.
According to the federal government, you’re poor if you earn less than: 2012.
A single person isn’t considered poor as long as he/she has an income of $981 a month.
Two people? You’re not at poverty level if you have $1,283 coming in each month.
Have a kid and a spouse/partner? You’re fine so long has your income is $1,591 per month.
A single person could get by with a studio — let’s call it $300-500 in rent each month. Two people might also be able to squeak by, but most states’ rental laws would require a one-bedroom. From what I can tell, those hover around $500-700 in the more affordable cities.
A couple with a kid would technically require a two-bedroom, but my guess is they find a way around that. At least, if their income is under $1,600 a month.
All that is pretty sobering, but here’s what I find particularly interesting/horrifying:
The Medicaid expansion would have raised eligibility to 133% of the federal poverty line. And that would mean an extra 16 million Americans would be eligible.
In other words, 16 million people in this country live less than 33% above the poverty line.