With deaths from opioid overdose rising steeply in recent years, and a large segment of the population reporting knowing someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers, the nation’s opioid epidemic affects people across all incomes, ages, and regions. These resources provide analysis and insight into the epidemic, who it affects, and how it’s being addressed by federal and state officials and the broader health care system.
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Most Americans Say Federal and State Governments Are Not Doing Enough to Combat Prescription Painkiller and Heroin Abuse; Large Majorities Believe Wide Range of Strategies Would be Effective

 As the White House and Congress continue to debate new funding and other actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that most Americans believe the federal government is not doing enough to combat the recent increases in the number of people who are…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2016

The April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll examines the role of health care issues in the presidential election. Health care is one of the top four issues mentioned by voters when asked which issues they most want to hear candidates discuss in the campaign, but half as many cite health care as mention the economy and jobs. It also examines the public’s experiences with prescription painkiller abuse and access to mental health care, as well as their views on efforts to combat painkiller and heroin addiction. It also asks about confidence in the safety of the drinking water supply in the wake of the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Mich., and their views of the government’s performance.

The Pennsylvania Health Care Landscape

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into full effect on January 1, 2014, ushering in health insurance reforms and new health coverage options in Pennsylvania and elsewhere across the country. Pennsylvania is experiencing changes to its health care delivery system as the state expands Medicaid, provides new coverage options through the federal health insurance marketplace, streamlines application and enrollment processes for coverage programs, and implements new health care delivery system and payment reforms. This fact sheet provides an overview of population health, health coverage, and the health care delivery system in Pennsylvania in the era of health reform.

Why Painkiller Addiction and Abuse Are Rising Health-Care Priorities

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman uses new polling to explore why painkiller abuse and addiction is rising as a health issue among state and federal policymakers. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2015

As the problem of prescription painkiller abuse has captured greater attention from policymakers and the media, the November Kaiser Health Tracking Poll explores the public’s connection to and knowledge of the issue, as well as their views of how to address it. A surprising 56 percent of the public say they have some personal connection to the issue – either because they say they know someone who has taken a prescription painkiller that wasn’t prescribed to them, know someone who has been addicted, or know someone who has died from a prescription painkiller overdose. While views of the health care law have been narrowly divided for much of the year, this month more say they have an unfavorable view of the law than a favorable one. The poll also includes views of the uninsured during the third open enrollment period under the health care law.