Here’s a look at 10 issues that KFF took a close look at this year and a summary of some of our top findings:
health care costs Remains a burden for many Americans: Our data shows that family health insurance premiums for employer coverage have increased 7% this year to nearly $24,000 and have become unaffordable for many workers at small employers, Dying Our series on Broke focuses on how older Americans struggle to pay for long-term care The health care affordability crisis continues to plague Americans and remains a top issue in the 2024 election. and late antiobesity drugs While much attention has been drawn, coverage, cost and access are unclear. Of the more than 100 million people in the U.S., 41% of adults have medical bills they can’t pay.
access to abortion Contraception remained a top issue for voters after the Supreme Court’s decision last year to overturn Roe v. Wade. We tracked state abortion policies and litigation throughout the year, and also tracked contraceptive rights across the US, with our newsroom taking a look at how the issue is playing out nationally and across the states. Abortion also played a role in Congress’s discussion about reauthorizing PEPFAR, the US signature program to provide HIV prevention and treatment services to millions of people, saving more than 25 million lives over 20 years.
Medicaid enrollment The decline has started, further decline is expected. Our annual survey of state Medicaid directors found that states expect national Medicaid enrollment to decline by 8.6% in state fiscal year 2024 as state Medicaid agencies continue to reduce continued enrollment protections related to the pandemic . As of December 13, more than 12 million people have been dropped from Medicaid due to unwinding. Some regained coverage later, so the decline in net enrollment would be smaller. Also, North Carolina expanded its Medicaid programs to cover low-income adults this month, joining 39 other states and the District of Columbia.
Medicare drug price negotiations begin, Those were authorized last year as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, but with significant debate by the pharmaceutical industry. Medicare open enrollment concluded on December 7, and we heard from Medicare beneficiaries about their thoughts on marketing practices, looking for alternatives, and their coverage. Many seniors let their plans renew automatically.
covid was still a thing But Americans began to worry less about the pandemic and their chances of getting sick, our COVID-19 vaccine monitor showed. Interest in receiving the latest booster waned, although most black and Hispanic adults expected to get it, while most white adults did not. Also, after the end of the public health emergency declaration in May, finding a booster and paying for it was confusing for many people, prompting a cheat sheet to help figure it out.
false news This remained prevalent on health issues, and KFF found that at least four in 10 people say they have heard of each of 10 specific false claims, but relatively few believe that these claims are definitely true. are true since. Most are simply uncertainty, which creates a confused middle ground that can only be reached with reliable information from reliable sources, such as doctors and local television news.
advancing health equity This remains a top issue for health policy experts and researchers. New survey research from KFF shows that six in 10 Black adults, nearly half of American Indian and Alaska Native and Hispanic adults, and four in 10 Asian adults say they are prepared for potential disrespect from providers or staff. live and/or feel that they must be very careful about their appearance in order to treat them appropriately at least some of the time during health care visits. KFF Health News also continued its coverage of how health outcomes vary by race and ethnicity.
Everything old is new again? And, at the end of the year, we heard from former President Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) that they want to change or replace it. Affordable Care Act (ACA), KFF’s polling shows that Americans broadly support the ACA, with more than double the share of Democratic voters (70%) compared to Republican voters (32%) and that’s a hot topic for the candidates to discuss. Is an important issue. Additionally, there have been record enrollments in the ACA marketplace this year. KFF Health News explored the issues in its What’s the Health podcast episode and a summary of related media coverage.
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