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June 2017

Health

In the News

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left), House Speaker Paul Ryan (center), and Congressman Greg Walden hold a news conference on the American Health Care Act in Washington, March 7, 2017

Eric Thayer/Reuters

As Senate Prepares Health Care Bill, What Does Research Say About Potential Proposals?

The Senate is working to craft legislation to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. But what is known about the potential effects of various reform proposals? RAND experts have analyzed some proposed alternatives:

  • The effects of an earlier version of the American Health Care Act on health insurance coverage and the federal deficit  Read the report »
  • How the House-passed bill would affect people with pre-existing conditions  Read the commentary »
  • The impact on consumers of excluding maternity care, mental health, and prescription drugs from essential health benefits  Read the commentary »
  • How a continuous coverage requirement could influence the individual insurance market  Read the commentary »

Featured Research

Prevalence and Cost of Chronic Illness

A happy older couple embraces and smiles

WakeBreakMediaMicro/Fotolia

As baby boomers become eligible for Medicare, policymakers are looking for ways to better plan for and manage the care of people with complex chronic conditions. A recent RAND report illustrates the burden that chronic illnesses impose on American society, demonstrating through charts and graphics that 60 percent of Americans have at least one chronic condition and 42 have multiple chronic conditions.

Chronic disease is a burden not only for patients but also for the health care system overall—Americans with chronic conditions utilize more and spend more on health care services than those who do not. Those with more chronic conditions also have greater functional and cognitive impairment than those who have fewer conditions.

Read more »

MACRA's Effect on Medicare Payment Policy and Spending

Hospital staff discussing a patient's chart

SelectStock/Getty Images

In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) aimed at moving Medicare physician payments to a value-based system including by encouraging provider participation in alternative payment models (APMs). A key piece of MACRA's implementation will be the design of these APMs. In a new report, RAND estimates how MACRA could impact Medicare spending under a variety of APM design scenarios.

Read more »

Commentary

Parental Leave Would Cause a Boom in Breastfeeding

A mother breastfeeding, photo by Halfpoint/Getty Images

Kandice Kapinos and Lori Uscher Pines, The Hill

“If national paid parental leave is established, it has the potential to drastically increase breastfeeding rates in the U.S. in ways that other policy changes have not. Provisions in the Affordable Care Act that support breastfeeding mothers have helped nudge up breastfeeding rates, but family leave would give working mothers a precious gift that has been shown to make a critical difference—paid time off.”

Read more »

Is Suicide Preventable? Insights From Research

Watercolor painting of a silhouette profile, Photo by DrAfter123/Getty Images

Doug Irving, RAND Review

“In some circles, conventional wisdom about suicide prevention suggests that one just needs to know what signs to look for. That's not the case. And suicide in the United States is on the rise. What's needed are some novel ideas, and more data to back up our assumptions.”

Read more »

Tired but Wired Youth: A Toxic Combination

A stressed high school student studying in a library with a large coffee, photo by asiseeit/Getty Images

Wendy M. Troxel, Thrive Global

“The recent death of a South Carolina teen, reportedly of a caffeine overdose, after consuming a large Mountain Dew, a latte, and an energy drink, is both tragic and avoidable.”

Read more »

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RAND Congressional Resources Staff

Jayme Fuglesten
Director, Office of Congressional Relations

Kerry Allen
Health Legislative Analyst

RAND Office of Congressional Relations
(703) 413-1100, ext. 5395
www.rand.org/congress

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