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.
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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.
With the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and individual cases in the U.S. and Europe making international headlines, the latest Kaiser Health Policy News Index examines Americans’ attention to the Ebola crisis, awareness of key facts about the disease, and views of the U.S. role in addressing Ebola in Africa and at home.
The October Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that majorities of the public said that if a case of Ebola were diagnosed in their area, they would have a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence in state, local, and federal health authorities to contain the disease and prevent it from spreading. Given the evolving news story, we re-surveyed the public from October 17-19 to determine whether confidence in health authorities to prevent the spread of Ebola has changed in light of more recent developments.
The health policy stories included in this month’s Kaiser Health Policy News Index were followed closely by about 4 in 10 Americans. Of the stories asked about this month, the one that garnered the most attention was coverage of the white police officer charged with the murder of an unarmed black man in South Carolina. Over half report closely following other stories, including the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps, a new religious freedom law in Indiana that allows business owners to refuse service to gay customers, negotiations over Iran’s Nuclear Program, and a terrorist attack by Islamic militants at a university in Kenya. The only non-health story to receive less attention than the health stories this month was coverage of the Congressional Republican budget proposals, followed closely by just over a third of the public.
This perspective highlights the important relationship between medicine and trust in news media and articulates three ways that clinicians, health care organizations, and journalists might begin to rebuild the foundation of trust on which both medicine and journalism rely. Co-authored by KFF’s David Rousseau, Vineet M. Arora of University of Chicago Medicine, and Gary Schwitzer of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, it appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
California has long been a leader in tackling climate change. However, as recent events have shown, despite its progressive climate policies, the Golden State is still very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. One key effect of climate change is its impact on health. From degraded air and water…
On October 10, 2018, the Trump administration released a proposed rule to change “public charge” policies that govern how the use of public benefits may affect individuals’ ability to obtain legal permanent resident (LPR) status. This analysis provides new estimates of the rule’s potential impacts.
Poll: Just Over Half of the Nation’s Workforce Have Lost a Job or Income Due to Coronavirus, though Most of Them Believe They Will Get Their Job and Income Back Within Six Months
With many businesses shut down and job losses mounting nationwide, just over half of the nation’s workers (55%) now say they have lost a job or had their incomes reduced as a result of the health and economic crises sparked by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the latest KFF Health Tracking…
This poll examines the public’s stance on the coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing and shelter-in-place restrictions as well as the public’s willingness to download apps to their phones to help public health officials with contact tracing,.