Video: Health Care Costs, Declining Wages Batter Working Families

OCTOBER 10, 2006 – As real wages continue to fall and health care costs spiral out of control, working families are struggling to stay afloat.

A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute shows that the median income of those headed by someone less than 65 years old considered to be working-age households fell .5 percent in 2005 and has fallen more than 5 percent since 2000.

The growing income inequality between the rich and the working class also continues to expand.

The Census Bureau reports the wealthiest fifth of households accounted for 50 percent of the national income, the highest percentage since 1967. Meanwhile, the middle fifth accounted for just under 15 percent and the bottom fifth just 3 percent.

The number of Americans without health insurance also increased for the fifth straight year. Nearly 47 million people in the U.S. went without health insurance in 2005, up 3 percent since 2004.

Most notably the percentage of the population with employment-based health coverage dropped from more than 63 percent in 2000 to just under 60 percent today.