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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2016

The February Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds Americans are divided on possible changes to the current health care system with 36 percent of Americans saying policymakers should build on the existing law to improve affordability and access to care, 16 percent saying they would like to see the health care law repealed and not replaced, 13 percent saying the current law should be repealed and replaced with a Republican-sponsored alternative, and 24 percent saying the U.S. should establish guaranteed universal coverage through a single government plan. When asked specifically about universal coverage through a single government plan, half say they favor the idea while 43 percent say they oppose it, and some opinions swayed after hearing counterarguments. Opinions also differ depending on the terms used to describe the idea of expanding health insurance coverage to all Americans. This month’s poll also examine awareness and attitudes of the top health policy news stories- the unsafe lead levels in Flint Michigan’s water and the Zika virus outbreak.

A Closer Look at the Remaining Uninsured Population Eligible for Medicaid and CHIP

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) extends health insurance coverage to people who lack access to an affordable coverage option. Under the ACA, as of 2014, Medicaid coverage is extended to low-income adults up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in states that have opted to expand eligibility, and tax credits are available for middle-income people who purchase coverage through a health insurance Marketplace. Millions of people have enrolled in these new coverage options, but millions of others are still uninsured. Recent analysis shows that 28% or 8.8 million of the 32.3 million non-elderly uninsured are eligible for Medicaid coverage. This issue brief provides a closer look at key characteristics of the uninsured who are eligible for Medicaid and where they live. Analysis is based on state Medicaid expansion decisions as of January 2016 which includes Louisiana’s decision to adopt the expansion. These data may help inform outreach and enrollment efforts to increase coverage gains among the eligible but uninsured population.

Behind the Challenges to Universal Health Coverage

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses why political reality and the diverse makeup of the remaining uninsured population mean that the likeliest path to universal coverage is a multi-step approach.

Key Data on Health and Health Coverage in South Carolina

This fact sheet draws on data from “Health and Health Coverage in the South: A Data Update” to highlight findings for South Carolina. The findings show the current status of health and health coverage in the state and the potential coverage gains that may be achieved through the Affordable Care Act.

What New Data Tell Us About Doctor Choice

Is choice of doctors eroding? Drew Altman explores the rhetoric versus reality and why the issue resonates with Americans, in his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank. All previous columns by Drew Altman are online.

What New Data Tell Us About Doctor Choice

Drew Altman explores the rhetoric versus reality on whether choice of doctors is eroding and why the issue resonates with Americans, in this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.