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The Good and Bad of Those Ubiquitous Drug Ads

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman examines the public’s mixed views about prescription drug ads and their impact on prescribing patterns, based on a new survey.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: October 2015

This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that the affordability of prescription drugs continues to be at the top of the public’s priority list for the President and Congress, picked by majorities across political parties. Issues specific to the ACA, such as repealing provisions of the law or repealing the law entirely, fall much lower on the list. The survey also probes the public’s experiences with drug advertisements. A large majority (82%) report they’ve seen or heard such advertising, and 28 percent say they have talked with a doctor about a specific drug they saw advertised. Favorable and unfavorable views of the health care law are tied this month with 42 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavorable. Few uninsured (15 percent) are aware that the third ACA enrollment period begins in November, however many (49 percent) say they expect to get health insurance in the next few months despite the fact that about half (51 percent) say they have been uninsured for 2 years or more.

Analysis of 2016 Premium Changes in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces

The chart and tables below present an updated analysis of changes in premiums for the lowest- and second-lowest cost silver Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace plans in major cities in 48 states and the District of Columbia, where we were able to find complete data on rates for all insurers. This page will be updated as complete rate information becomes available for more states. More background can be found in our earlier analysis of 2016 rates.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2015

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepares to finalize a plan to pay physicians for discussing end-of-life treatment options with Medicare patients, this month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that about 8 in 10 of the public favors Medicare and private insurance covering such discussions and about 9 in 10 say doctors should have these discussions with their patients. However, relatively few (17 percent) say they’ve had such discussions with a doctor or other health care provider, while half of the public says they would want to have such a discussion. Overall, opinion of the health care law has remained divided with similar shares reporting favorable views (41 percent) and unfavorable views (45 percent), with opinion starkly divided by party. The Kaiser Health Policy News Index also finds that the 2016 presidential election is the most widely followed news story included in this month’s Index, placing far ahead of health policy news stories.

Public Strongly Favors End-of-Life Conversations Between Doctors and Patients, With About Eight in 10 Saying Medicare and Other Insurers Should Cover These Visits

Six in 10 Oppose ‘Cadillac Plan Tax’ on High-Cost Health Plans Set to Take Effect in 2018, But Cost Savings Argument Can Change Some Opinions Views on the Affordable Care Act Remain Divided: 45% Unfavorable, 41% Favorable As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepares to finalize a plan…

Why Consumer Issues Are Rising on the Health Agenda

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman examines the trends that may be leading to a rise in consumer cost issues on the health agenda. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.