Health Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access health research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at or (703) 413-1100, ext. 5643.

Recent Findings

  • Research Brief

    Middle Eastern Communities Can Resist Sectarianism

    Jan 14, 2019

    Sectarian violence in the Middle East has been destructive, but it is still the exception rather than the norm. Communities are generally resilient to the worst sectarian impulses. Lessons from Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, and Iraq show that there are a range of actions that can curb sectarianism.

  • Report

    Countering Sectarianism in the Middle East

    Jan 14, 2019

    Scholars and policymakers have sought to understand what drives sectarianism in the Middle East and its relationship to multiple conflicts. Far less attention has been focused on how communities inoculate themselves from sectarianism or recover from it.

  • Commentary

    Ethics of Germline Editing Must Keep Up with Technology

    Jan 10, 2019

    Scientists have conducted DNA modifications since the early 1970s, yet mainstream interest in genome editing is now surging. If this research is to go forward, the science should be well understood by those conducting the research. Best practices and the highest scientific standards should be employed to limit risks and prevent unintended consequences.

  • Essay

    Faith-Based Organizations Promote Well-Being in Underserved Communities

    Jan 4, 2019

    Kathryn Derose, a senior policy researcher and an Episcopal deacon, works with Latino and African-American churches to address health issues in their communities. Her research has shown the power of the pulpit to fight health disparities, counter stigma, and encourage healthy living.

  • Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2018

    Dec 21, 2018

    RAND serves as an objective source of facts that help inform the world's most pressing policy debates. When decisions are based on the best evidence, that's when public policy can have a positive impact on people's lives. We're highlighting the 10 research projects that readers found most engaging this year.

More Research on Health, Health Care, and Aging


  • What are the Potential Impacts of Single-Payer Health Care?

    Jan 23, 2019

    What do policymakers need to know when thinking about single-payer proposals and their likely effects on cost and access? Jodi Liu and Christine Eibner will discuss some key characteristics of single-payer health care proposals and their likely impact as well as common misconceptions and areas of uncertainty. [Washington, D.C.]

  • States vs. the Federal Government: Marijuana Legalization in the United States

    Jun 9, 2017

    As the marijuana policy landscape continues to change from state to state, the substance remains illegal under federal law. How can action abroad help inform policy in the United States, and what are Congress' options?

  • Repeal, Replace, Repair, or Improve? The Future of the ACA

    Mar 17, 2017

    With a new administration in the White House, Congress is taking a renewed look at the Affordable Care Act. RAND senior economist Christine Eibner will brief legislators on the impacts of policies proposed by both sides of the aisle. [Washington, DC]

  • Premium Tax Credits and the Affordable Care Act: The Potential Ramifications of King v. Burwell

    Feb 3, 2015

    In February 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell, a challenge to the legality of the regulation authorizing premium tax credits in federally facilitated exchanges. What does this mean for the Affordable Care Act and consumers in these states?

  • Insights About Marijuana Legalization in the United States

    Jan 21, 2015

    Marijuana legalization is a complex issue under serious debate. As Vermont prepares to vote on legalization, this briefing reviews a RAND report that analyzes income-earning potential for the state, marijuana policy in the U.S. and abroad, alternatives to marijuana prohibition, and how federal-state conflicts can impact policy choices.

More Health Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends alerts and newsletters to update Congress on highlights of recent work about health and health care.

  • The Impact of E-Cigarettes on Youth

    Nov 1, 2018

    Teenage usage of e-cigarettes has been the target of recent government scrutiny, including a September declaration by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that usage of e-cigarettes by youth has reached “epidemic” levels.

  • In Case You Missed It: Evolution of the U.S. Overdose Crisis

    Sep 21, 2018

    RAND's Bryce Pardo discusses China's role in the production and supply of synthetic opioids and outlines some actions lawmakers can take to reduce this problem beyond traditional drug policy tools.

  • What are the effects of eliminating the individual mandate penalty?

    Aug 16, 2018

    Starting in 2019, the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty will be eliminated. According to a new study, 3 million to 13 million fewer people would have health insurance by 2020 and most premiums for individual market plans would increase by 3 to 13 percent, depending on which assumptions are in play.

  • What are the Impacts of Medical Marijuana Advertising on Adolescents?

    Jul 31, 2018

    As legalization of recreational marijuana becomes prevalent across multiple states, many policymakers will face complex choice when it comes to regulations.

  • How Many Americans Will Need Nursing Home Care and At What Cost?

    Nov 8, 2017

    More than half of Americans will need a nursing home during their lifetime. For most people, these stays will be short and relatively affordable. But a small portion of people will have longer stays and significantly higher out-of-pocket spending.

  • Analysis of Health Care Tax Subsidies Under the ACA and its Alternatives

    Jul 13, 2017

    A new report compares the implications of different tax-based approaches to subsidizing health insurance enrollment in the individual market.

  • In Case You Missed It: Creating Better Support for Our Nation's Hidden Heroes

    Jun 28, 2017

    RAND conducted the first-ever study on the roles and risks of military and veteran caregivers in 2014. Now, a new research blueprint provides policymakers with an understanding of where more research is needed to improve the lives of these caregivers.

  • In Case You Missed It: Marijuana Legalization in the United States

    Jun 21, 2017

    While the number of states legalizing marijuana for both medical and non-medical use continues to grow, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Beau Kilmer gives a briefing on the options the government has for addressing marijuana policy.

  • What Does Research Say About Potential Health Plan Proposals?

    Jun 14, 2017

    RAND experts have analyzed proposed alternatives to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act, examining how policy changes would affect people with pre-existing conditions; the impact on consumers of excluding some essential health benefits; and the impact of a continuous coverage requirement.

  • In Case You Missed It: Funding Considerations in the Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic

    May 24, 2017

    Rosalie Liccardo Pacula testified before Congress and discussed RAND research on the causes of the opioid epidemic and the effectiveness of treatment methods such as drug monitoring programs.

  • In Case You Missed It: Preventing Veteran Suicide

    May 19, 2017

    Suicide is a public health threat that affects all demographics, but recently attention has been focused on the risk of suicide among veterans. Preventative measures could include strengthening community-based programs for those who do not receive care at the VA.

  • In Case You Missed It: Repeal, Replace, Repair, or Improve? The Future of the ACA

    Apr 6, 2017

    In this congressional briefing, Christine Eibner discusses her research on the Affordable Care Act and the impacts of health care policies proposed by both sides of the aisle. She presents potential tensions and considerations that policymakers will need to address.

  • Health Care Issues in the 115th Congress

    Mar 24, 2017

    RAND research examines a wide range of health care issues important to the 115th Congress: the Affordable Care Act and potential policy alternatives, health care delivery approaches, public health issues, drug policy, and veterans' health care issues.

  • Estimating the Impacts of the Trump and Clinton Health Plans

    Oct 18, 2016

    How do the major party candidates' plans address the biggest issues facing health care reform? RAND experts estimated the impacts of the Trump and Clinton health plans on the number of uninsured, costs for consumers, and the federal deficit.

  • Informing Decisions on Health Care Reform

    Aug 2, 2016

    The House Republicans have released their health care reform plan, which is described as the starting point for new legislation in the 115th Congress. RAND experts examine the key features of this plan, the impact, and potential costs.

  • Ransomware Hackers Are Coming for Your Health Records

    Apr 27, 2016

    Cybercriminals may be preying on hospitals because cyber protection measures likely have not kept pace with electronic data collection and because hospitals typically do not have backup systems and databases in place. These kind of attacks can strain health care systems and potentially put patients' lives at risk.

  • Retail Clinics May Increase Medical Spending, Rather Than Trim Costs

    Mar 31, 2016

    Retail clinics have been touted as a way to decrease health care spending. But, a new study found that retail clinics may actually drive up medical spending by creating demand for new medical services.

  • Bringing Sky-High Prescription Drug Prices Down to Earth

    Dec 17, 2015

    In the U.S. pharmaceutical market, it may seem like anything goes, but it doesn't have to: Increased competition among drug companies and improved bargaining power of insurers and consumers could help keep high prescription prices in check.

  • 24/7 Sobriety Project: A Promising New Way to Curb Problem Drinking and Reduce Costs

    Aug 20, 2015

    Recently, the Senate took steps to expand funding for 24/7 Sobriety Programs, like one in South Dakota. These programs are a promising and innovative way to help curb problem drinking and improve public health.

  • Will Increasing Access to Treatment Help Stop the Opioid Overdose Crisis?

    Aug 18, 2015

    Heroin-related overdose deaths quadrupled from 2002 to 2013, and many people who used heroin were also addicted to other substances, like prescription opioid painkillers. A RAND study shows how the growth in physicians permitted to prescribe buprenorphine may help increase access to effective opioid addiction treatment.

  • What's at Stake in King v. Burwell?

    Feb 26, 2015

    The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of King v. Burwell on March 4. RAND research explains the role of premium tax credits in ensuring stability in the individual insurance market and gives insight into what might happen if the court rules to invalidate subsidies in states with federally facilitated marketplaces.

  • What's On the Health Care Agenda for the 114th Congress?

    Jan 29, 2015

    The health policy legislative agenda for the new Congress may have far-reaching effects for Americans, starting with the Affordable Care Act and including health care costs, telemedicine, prescription drugs and innovation, caregiving, Medicare payment, and public health.

  • Affordable Care Act: Subsidies Elimination or Individual Mandate Would Lower Enrollment and Hike Premiums

    Oct 30, 2014

    As the Affordable Care Act's second open enrollment period approaches, efforts to improve enrollment are under scrutiny. But, issues could impact major provisions of the law, including a legal challenge to tax credits in states with federally run exchanges.

  • "Ask Me Anything" About Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases

    Oct 17, 2014

    With West Africa's Ebola outbreak reaching distant shores, is the U.S. prepared to contain this threat? Members of Congress hear from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, Thomas Frieden. Also hear reactions from RAND's Melinda Moore in an "Ask Me Anything" session about Ebola.

  • Lessons to Learn from the Ebola Outbreak

    Sep 16, 2014

    The World Health Organization has announced that the Ebola outbreak is still accelerating. While hundreds of lives have been lost and more fatalities are expected, there are key lessons to be learned and reasons to be optimistic about fighting this disease.

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