Policy Watch

Quick-hitting policy analysis, polling, and updates on the key issues facing the country in 2020.

This Week in Coronavirus: January 8 to January 14

During the 51st week since the first coronavirus case appeared in the United States, the U.S. surpassed 23.3 million total cases and 388,700 deaths due to the pandemic. Here’s our recap of the past week in the coronavirus pandemic from our tracking, policy analysis, polling, and journalism.

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We Need a Better Way Of Distributing the COVID-19 Vaccine. Here’s How To Do It.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, KFF President Drew Altman calls for a simplification of the troubled COVID-19 vaccine distribution system.

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The Challenge Of Vaccine Hesitancy In Rural America

In his latest Axios column, Drew Altman looks at the challenge of vaccine hesitancy in rural America and its implications. One of them: a highly tailored outreach campaign is needed. “Addressing this hesitancy will require convincing rural Americans about the seriousness of the pandemic, and then that the vaccine is a way to protect them, their families and their way of life,” he said.

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Joe Biden’s New Health Care Agenda (and CMS’s Big Role In It)

With the Georgia runoff elections giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate, Drew Altman discusses President-elect Biden’s potential health care agenda and suggests that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could have an expanded role and that it may be time to rename it and elevate it to a cabinet agency.

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This Week in Coronavirus: January 1 to January 7

Here’s our recap of the past week in the coronavirus pandemic from our tracking, policy analysis, polling, and journalism. It’s a new year, and while Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate with the results of the Georgia runoff elections and lawmakers dealt with the riot on the Capitol during Electoral College certification, the…

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Both Remote and On-Site Workers are Grappling with Serious Mental Health Consequences of COVID-19

While millions have recently lost their jobs or income and face new stresses, many who have been working during the pandemic also face new pressures. Almost overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic presented many workers with a whole host of concurrent risk factors for poor mental health and substance use problems, including generally high levels of uncertainty and fear, an overload of news and information, changes to workplace processes and demands, changes in household dynamics, financial and job security concerns, potential worsening of existing health conditions, and difficulties linked to caregiving. People working during the pandemic face unique threats to mental health and well being depending on which sector they work in and their potential exposure to the coronavirus. Generally speaking, surveys conducted during the pandemic have found that many workers have been experiencing burnout (which results from chronic workplace stress and can impact an individual’s motivation and productivity) and adverse mental health outcomes.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.