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Data Note: Attempting to Measure Early Impact of the ACA through National Public Opinion Polls- A Note of Caution and What to Watch For

After the October start of open enrollment, under the Affordable Care Act, many journalists, policymakers, and the public at large are eager for early data indicating how the law is working from the perspective of potential enrollees. In particular, given the problems with Healthcare.Gov and some of the state exchange websites, many people want quantitative data about people’s experiences attempting to purchase or enroll in some sort of health insurance coverage using these mechanisms.
This Data Note raises a note of caution about the possible pitfalls of using standard national public opinion polls to make judgments about Americans’ early experiences with health plan enrollment under the ACA.

Sen. Mark Pryor Spotlights the Health Law’s Rx for Pre-Existing Illnesses

In a column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explains why Senator Mark Pryor’s new campaign ad features the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions, the somewhat forgotten “mega provision” of the law.

Sen. Mark Pryor Spotlights the Health Law’s Rx for Pre-Existing Illnesses

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explains why Senator Mark Pryor’s new campaign ad features the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions, the somewhat forgotten “mega provision” of the law. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

A Perilous Gap in Health Insurance Literacy

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses how progress in expanding coverage requires greater attention to the problem of health insurance literacy.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August-September 2014

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll includes a special look at registered voters’ views and what role, if any, the the Affordable Care Act might be playing in the upcoming midterm election. Partisan divisions on the law are as deep as ever, not only when it comes to overall opinion but also in the public’s perception of how the law has impacted their own families and the next steps they want Congress to take.

A Perilous Gap In Health Insurance Literacy

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, A Perilous Gap In Health Insurance Literacy, Drew Altman discusses how progress in expanding coverage requires greater attention to the problem of health insurance literacy. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: August-September 2014

The latest Kaiser Health Policy News Index finds that attention to health policy stories in August took a back seat to breaking national news such as the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, international events in the West Bank, Syria and Ukraine and a global health story, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The only U.S. health policy news story that garnered a significant amount of public attention this month was the passage of a bill in Congress to overhaul the Veterans Affairs health system.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: July 2014

The July Kaiser Health Policy News Index finds the most closely followed news stories this month were discussions about how to deal with large numbers of unaccompanied minors arriving in the U.S. from Central America, military and political conflict between Israel and Hamas, and ongoing problems related to Veterans Affairs (or V.A.) medical facilities. Six in ten report closely following the Supreme Court’s decision in a case about whether for-profit companies should be required to cover birth control for women in their workers’ health plans (the Hobby Lobby case), and about half of the public is able to correctly identify the Court’s decision.