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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.

One Year Later, Where Does the U.S. Response to Ebola Stand?

The Ebola outbreak of 2014 was a global wake-up call regarding the ongoing threat of emerging infectious diseases.  The U.S. government’s response included dispatching the military and Congress appropriating $5.4 billion in emergency funding, the majority of which was for international activities. Still, Ebola cases continue to occur in the…

Web Briefing for Media: What Do The Sustainable Development Goals Mean for Global Health?

In late September, the United Nations General Assembly will discuss and adopt a plan for international development for the next 15 years. This new plan, called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), could have important implications for global health policy. On September 9, the Kaiser Family Foundation held an interactive web briefing exclusively for journalists to examine these key issues ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: April 2015

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.