News from RAND Health



March 2012

News and updates from the most trusted source of objective health policy research

Featured Research

How Would Eliminating the Individual Mandate Affect Health Coverage and Premium Costs?

Doctor and patient image

The individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) requires that most Americans either obtain health coverage or pay an annual fine. Supporters of the mandate contend that it will encourage younger, healthier Americans who were previously uninsured to get coverage, spreading risks across a larger group and reducing costs. Yet opponents have challenged its constitutionality, and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case soon. How much would overturning the individual mandate affect costs and coverage?

View the Inteactive Feature View a Video Interview with Author Christine Eibner
Read the Research Brief Topic: Health Economics and Financing

News Releases

Financial Burden of Prescription Drugs Is Dropping, but Costs Remain a Challenge for Many Families

Pharmacy counter

The financial burden Americans face paying out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs has declined, although prescription costs remain a significant challenge for people with lower incomes and those with public insurance.

Read More Topic: Health Economics

Voluntary After-School Programs Can Reduce Alcohol Use Among Middle School Children

Group of adolescents

If prevention researchers build programs with developmentally relevant content, and provide this content in an engaging, confidential, and non-judgmental way, it can help middle school-aged children avoid alcohol.

Read More Topic: Substance Use

Journal Articles

Does Junk Food in Schools Increase Childhood Obesity?

Student with a cupcake

Despite growing concern that junk food availability in schools has contributed to the childhood obesity epidemic, research shows that the availability does not significantly increase BMI or obesity among a group of fifth-graders — even though they are likely to buy junk food.

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Why Does Spending for Prescription Drugs Vary Across the Country?

Elderly woman with pill bottle

Although Medicare is a federal program, spending on prescription drugs varies from region to region. Are the sources of spending differences due to variations in regional health, or are the types of treatments offered causing the differences?

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Can Training and Texts Help Teens With Asthma?

Hispanic teen with inhaler

Asthma in children holds many dangers for children, especially minorities. Many of these risks come from poor adherence to treatment, but a brief educational session with tailored, reinforcing text messages sent to adolescents' cell phones improved adherence and health outcomes.

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