Fewer Americans Can Afford the Basics

Fewer Americans Can Afford the BasicsAmong the large numbers of issues that are said to prove that the recession never ended is whether Americans can afford the "basics" that have been part of what the middle class has been able to expect for decades. Fewer and fewer Americans can. This means that a lack of demand for some services, like medical treatment, will undermine the ability of some services to exist at all - at least at current levels. Medicine, like any other economically based system, needs some base amount of demand to provide the financial scale that allows R&D and a delivery infrastructure to exist.

A new Gallup poll reports that "Fewer Americans had access to basic life necessities in September. The nation's Basic Access Index score fell to 81.4 last month - on par with the 81.5 measured in February and March 2009 amid the recession." This is a testament to the high unemployment levels of the past four years. The fact that the economy does not bleed jobs at the rate of 500,000 a month as it was in early 2009 does not help those who have lost jobs and not regained them. Some would say the joblessness trouble in the U.S. is not getting worse. That only means that the recession, which is still a horrible fact of the lives of most Americans, had not improved at all.

The two largest drops in "basics" are the number of people with a personal doctor, down 4.2% to 78.3% in September compared to September 2008. The number of Americans with health insurance coverage has dropped by 3.6% to 83.3% over the same period. At some point, the ability of hospitals and doctors to operate in current numbers falters. The same is probably true with expensive medical R&D. The government will only fund so much of it, particularly in an age of austerity. Private donations are low because even the well-to-do have cut back charity.

The current recession does not feel like one. It is worse than that.

Methodology: Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Sept. 1 – 30, 2011, with a random sample of 29,313 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

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The Skiteks

This does not surprise me at all what with everything slowly being taken away from average person. If only those politicians who can't live on $400,000 would walk a mile in the shoes of the average American and see first hand how they must live or choose to live just to have a few bucks in their pockets until the next paycheck, I believe there would be a better understanding in Washington. However, since that will never happen, the average American will rise up stronger and wiser for having lived through the experience. I've always believed in the saying that going through tough times makes you a better person and to those Americans that can't afford the basics, they'll always have my respect.

October 17 2011 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

83.3% have health insurance? While I feel sorry for those who do not, the Obama Health care people have lead us to believe the number who have insurance was much lower. It would seem that the administration could have helped the uninsured without the massive "overhaul" that is just confusing the issue.

October 17 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

All of this is very true for me, anyway. My doctor closed her practice and I haven't had health insurance in a year since my employer cut my hours to part-time and withdrew my benefits! All this from the state who has a governor that everybody (who doesn't live here) seems to love, Chris Christie! The recession (or rather DEcession) has ended here, folks!

October 17 2011 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

With less medical care, more poor people will die. With fewer poor people, the economic statistics will begin to look much better. See? It really is a perfect world.

October 17 2011 at 12:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What DO we need to do??? Go back to living in a log cabin,raising our own food,horse and buggy !!!!!! Barely living on SS now,grown kids still paying on Student loans,looking for JOBS "that are not there" GOV needs to do some BRAINSTORMING---Cut out a lot of unecessary spending,take a PAY cut----President (no matter who) comes down HARD on they way they run things

October 17 2011 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Why doesn't Washington wake up the recession never ended, it all just was forgotten. The Republicans don't seem to care if the middle class survies or not. Right now it's looking like acient times Rich/poor no inbetween & unless you are dirty poor or have a dozen kids with no daddy you can't get any help. I work 36 yrs before loosing my job & my unemployment is too high to get food stamps but I sured paid in for all those years. They can make all the jobs they want problem is most good paying jobs need some one inside to get you in or you need a colleage degree & not everyone is cut out for colleage so people like me need 2 or 3 jobs to make what we made when you could get a decent paying job without have a degree. Or big companies hire part time nobody can live on that. I say come one 12/21/12 I am ready there is no hope or change here.

October 17 2011 at 12:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

No frigging DUH !

October 17 2011 at 12:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

With the Administrations attack on business and energy we are suffering the consiquences. Sorry but no end insight with the attacks by this Administration. Food prices up 30%, Fuel still sky high, Electricity up 28%, City governments adding in new fee's and taxes to cover their short falls adding another 7%.

October 17 2011 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

THE " RACE TO THE BOTTOM CONTINUES" as prices go up, and pay goes down, and everybody has to compete on a "global " scale....... meaning chinas 24 cents per hour. as stores like wall-mart continue to pummel their workers into social services... food stamps, welfare. etc. I even thought mabe obama would help the struggling workers get a little more of a fair shake...... whew! was i wrong! trouble is, all the "contenders" running for office are either idiots or morons! everybody needs to turn their flags upside down on the flag poles........ because we are in deeeep doo doo!

October 17 2011 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

4 more years, 4 more years, 4 more years...

October 17 2011 at 12:11 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply