Public Opinion and Survey Research

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Kaiser Health Policy News Index: June 2014

This month’s Health Policy News Index finds more than six in 10 say they followed
news about long waiting lists for those seeking care at Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities closely.
That makes the VA story the most closely followed health story in the first half of 2014, with slightly
more people following it than followed several ACA enrollment stories earlier this year.

New Orleans Ten Years After the Storm: Progress and Challenges

Views of New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina varied among residents a decade after the storm hit in 2005. A Kaiser Family Foundation/NPR survey finds residents’ reports of conditions in their own neighborhoods and their evaluations of the city’s progress have improved steadily on many fronts. However, residents say challenges remain, particularly in the area of public safety.

The Health Care Views and Experiences of Rural Americans: Findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation/Washington Post Survey of Rural America

In partnership with The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted the Survey of Rural America to gauge the views and experiences of people living in small towns and rural areas across the United States, and how they are similar or different from those in urban and suburban settings. This brief explores where health care fits in rural residents’ political views, including attitudes toward Republican plans to repeal and replace the ACA as well as views of Medicaid. It also examines how rural Americans’ health care experiences compare with their urban and suburban counterparts.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll – June 2017: ACA, Replacement Plan, and Medicaid

As the Senate prepares to vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and limit federal Medicaid funding, a new Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll finds the Affordable Care Act itself remains far more popular than the bill that would replace it. A majority of Republicans, however, continue to support the Republican plan, though by a significantly narrower margin than last month. Furthermore, the Tracking Poll finds that the most of the public – regardless of partisanship – holds favorable views of Medicaid.

Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria: The Public’s Knowledge and Views of Its Impact and the Response

The survey gauges the public’s knowledge and views about Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts following the devastating category 4 hurricane that struck Sept. 20. Most Americans say that Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria are not yet getting the help they need, and about half say that the federal government has been too slow to respond and is not doing enough to restore electricity and access to food and water. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats or independents to view the federal response as appropriate.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll – November 2017: The Politics of Health Insurance Coverage, ACA Open Enrollment

This month marks the start of the ACA’s fifth open enrollment period and finds three in ten of the public saying they haven’t heard anything at all about the current open enrollment period. Despite their overall views of the ACA, the majority of the public (61 percent) – including most Democrats (71 percent), independents (58 percent), and half of Republicans (52 percent) – say that because President Trump and Republicans in Congress are now in control of the government, they are responsible for any problems with the health care law moving forward. This month’s tracking poll also examines public support for two variations of a Medicare buy-in proposal.

Loneliness and Social Isolation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan: An International Survey

To understand more about how people view the issue of loneliness and social isolation, the Kaiser Family Foundation, in partnership with The Economist, conducted a cross-country survey of adults in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. The survey included additional interviews with individuals who report always or often feeling lonely, left out, isolated or that they lack companionship to better understand the personal characteristics and life circumstances associated with these feelings, the reported causes of loneliness, and how people are coping. More than a fifth of adults in the United States and the United Kingdom as well as one in ten adults in Japan say they often or always feel lonely, feel that they lack companionship, feel left out, or feel isolated from others, and many of them say their loneliness has had a negative impact on various aspects of their life. About six in ten say there is a specific cause of their loneliness, and they are also more likely to report experiencing negative life events in the past two years, such as a negative change in financial status. Those reporting loneliness in each country report having fewer confidants than others and two-thirds or more say they have just a few or no relatives or friends living nearby who they can rely on for support. Many in the U.S. and U.K. view the increased use of technology as a major reason why people are lonely or socially isolated, whereas fewer people in Japan say the same. But, for those experiencing loneliness or social isolation personally, they are divided as to whether they think social media makes their feelings of loneliness better or worse.

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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.