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.

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  • Blog

    U.S.-Turkish Relations, Airports, Opioids: RAND Weekly Recap

    Jan 17, 2020

    This weekly recap focuses on the future of the U.S.-Turkish partnership, helping America's commercial airports meet rising demand, the opioid crisis, and more.

  • People learning about wellbeing, photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images


    Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace

    Jan 13, 2020

    Much of the mental health support provided by employers focuses on individual staff members, but it is equally important to consider how an organization itself may need to change to effectively support employees. If an organization is serious about improving staff mental health, assessing the working culture honestly and implementing appropriate changes could be one necessary step.

  • Syringe and heroin on a black background, photo by Kittipong/Adobe Stock


    Fentanyl: The Most Dangerous Illegal Drug in America

    Jan 13, 2020

    America's fentanyl crisis is unlike previous drug epidemics and is likely to get worse. Deaths involving it and other synthetic opioids have surged from around 3,000 in 2013 to more than 30,000 in 2018. Solving the problem requires innovative approaches and unprecedented resources.

  • Blog

    Iran, Mental Health and Jail, Russia: RAND Weekly Recap

    Jan 10, 2020

    This weekly recap focuses on Iran and Iraq following the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, supporting those experiencing mental illness in jails, Russia's hostile measures, and more.

  • Jonathan Wong, Sangeeta Ahluwalia, Hardika Dayalani, and Robert Bozick of the RAND Corporation.


    Ink Tank: At RAND, Tattoos Sometimes Reflect the Research

    Jan 10, 2020

    Three RAND experts and one Pardee RAND student explain how their tattoos reflect their research on the problems Marines face, end-of-life care, migration-related issues, and the changing needs of the labor force.

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Alerts & Newsletters

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

  • Pill bottle with pills spilled out of it, photo by Moussa81/Getty Images

    Health Care Issues in 2020

    Jan 14, 2020

    What are some of the health care issues at the forefront of the congressional agenda in 2020? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including the opioid crisis, drug pricing, delivery of care, and more.

  • In Case You Missed It: Approaching the U.S. Opioid Crisis as an Ecosystem

    Jan 9, 2020

    RAND's Bradley Stein explains why we should approach the opioid crisis as an ecosystem instead of focusing on individual areas. He says employing a broader view of the crisis will help those confronting it better prepare for the challenges ahead.

  • A patient sitting on an MRI machine talking to a medical professional, photo by laflor/Getty Images

    What are the Potential Effects of Medicare Buy-In?

    Dec 5, 2019

    Using RAND's COMPARE microsimulation model, researchers found that a Medicare buy-in proposal could offer significantly more-affordable coverage to older adults but might also lead to higher premiums for some people remaining on the individual market.

  • A variety of prescription pills and capsules formed into a dollar sign, photo by ADragan/Getty Images

    The Promise and Peril of Offshoring Prescription Drug Pricing

    Oct 28, 2019

    The President, Congress, and most Americans agree prescription drug prices are too high. After years of drug price and spending growth, 2019 has so far seen an explosion of policy proposals from both parties that could promise some relief.

  • In Case You Missed It: Preparing for the Future of Fentanyl

    Sep 30, 2019

    In this congressional briefing, Bryce Pardo and Beau Kilmer discuss factors that have contributed to the rise of synthetic opioids like fentanyl in the U.S. What do policymakers need to consider in their efforts to address this threat in the United States?

  • The Future of Fentanyl: Are Existing Drug Policy Tools Enough?

    Sep 4, 2019

    The U.S. overdose crisis has worsened dramatically with the arrival of synthetic opioids like fentanyl. A new RAND report found that deaths involving synthetic opioids increased from roughly 3,000 in 2013 to more than 30,000 in 2018.

  • In Case You Missed It: Implications of U.S.-China Collaborations on Global Health Issues

    Aug 27, 2019

    As the world's two largest economies, the United States and China face increasingly similar public health challenges. RAND's Jennifer Bouey outlines some potential initiatives that should be considered for future U.S.-China collaborations.

  • Overdose rescue kits on a table during an Opioid Overdose Prevention Training class provided by Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, New York, April 5, 2018

    The Surge of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids

    Aug 14, 2019

    How is the illicit flow of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids impacting communities across the United States? A recent RAND report examined mortality and seizure data at the state level across several drug classes to better understand the evolution and concentration of overdose fatalities in the United States.

  • In Case You Missed It: Illicit Supply of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids

    Aug 1, 2019

    RAND's Bryce Pardo discusses how illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids, often from China, are changing the U.S. drug policy landscape. He outlines four potential policy responses to combat the synthetic opioid crisis.

  • Calculator and mobile phone on top of medical invoice, photo by DNY59/Getty Images

    Addressing Surprise Medical Bills Without Raising the Cost of Health Care

    Jun 21, 2019

    As more patients experience unexpected charges after they receive medical care, numerous legislative proposals have been introduced in Congress to address the issue of surprise medical bills.

  • In Case You Missed It: How to Reduce Suicide Among U.S. Veterans and Service Members

    Jun 3, 2019

    The rate at which veterans and service members die by suicide is a national security problem that requires a comprehensive approach. RAND's Terri Tanielian outlines six priorities for addressing the challenge of suicide.

  • Calculator and mobile phone on top of medical invoice, photo by DNY59/Getty Images

    What Do Private Health Plans Pay Hospitals Compared to Medicare?

    May 22, 2019

    The majority of the U.S. population is enrolled in a private health plan. A recent report examined U.S. hospital prices for 25 states and discovered that in 2017, the prices paid to hospitals for privately insured patients averaged 241 percent of what Medicare would have paid.

  • Doctor and patient are discussing at clinic, photo by sebra/Adobe Stock

    National Spending Estimates Under Medicare for All

    Apr 16, 2019

    Some policymakers are examining "Medicare-for-All" proposals that would provide comprehensive health care coverage to the population nationwide. According to a new report, national spending under a Medicare-for-All plan would be $3.89 trillion in 2019, or a 1.8 percent increase relative to the costs under current law.

  • Hepatitis C virus model, 3D illustration by Dr_Microbe/Getty Images

    How is the Opioid Crisis Driving the Rise in Hepatitis C?

    Apr 2, 2019

    The hepatitis C virus is responsible for more deaths in the United States than any other infectious disease. Hepatitis C infections have been rising at an alarming rate since 2010.

  • Jodi Liu discusses considerations for policymakers thinking about single-payer proposals

    In Case You Missed It: What Are the Potential Impacts of Single-Payer Health Care?

    Feb 6, 2019

    Controlling costs while improving health care access dominates policy debates in Congress. Some policymakers are increasingly discussing “Medicare-for-All” proposals. During a recent RAND congressional briefing, Jodi Liu discussed considerations for policymakers thinking about single-payer proposals and their likely effects on cost and access.

  • Prescription opioids

    Considering Health Care Policy in the 116th Congress

    Jan 30, 2019

    What are the biggest health care policy issues facing the 116th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including the opioid crisis, health care payment and delivery, veterans' health issues, and more.

  • E-cigarette held by a young woman

    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.

  • Printer ink bottles containing carfentanil imported from China, seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Vancouver.

    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.

  • Female patient and doctor have consultation in hospital room

    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.

  • A billboard advertises marijuana in advance of the legalization of recreational marijuana in San Francisco, California, December 29, 2017

    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.

  • Nursing home residents having coffee

    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.

  • Older woman gets help with her tax documents

    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.

  • Sgt. John Kriesel receives treatment from a therapist while his wife, Katie, comforts him at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, February 9, 2007

    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.

  • A cannabis farm in eastern Washington state

    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.

  • 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

    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.

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