The week brings yet one more report to underscore ways that healthcare (despite hiring through the recession) is vulnerable to the weak economy.
A report by the Commonwealth Fund surveyed adults about access to healthcare, insurance coverage and income during the second year after the Great Recession ended.
Responses, taken from more than 2,000 adults, found households living closer to poverty were less likely to be insured. And insurance made a significant difference in whether adults reported receiving basic health screening, such as cholesterol checks or mammograms. That's according to Sara Collins, vice president for affordable insurance at the Commonwealth Fund, who walked me through the maze of statistics that parsed answers by income and insurance coverage.
The recession that began in late 2007 eroded household income and access to healthcare. Unemployment climbed through the recession and has yielded little until recent months. Households abruptly delayed medical care, helping to slow the nation's health spending growth to historical lows. Median income during the first year after the recession was down more sharply after the Great Recession than each of the six prior recessions. Here's a comparison: