Public Health

Finding the Bright Spots: What Policies Make Communities Healthy?

Many factors influence the health and well-being of communities, including who can afford to live in them; local, state, and private-sector policies; and the availability of opportunities to live a healthy, engaged, and productive life. This project will seek to explain why some communities seem to have more opportunity and be healthier than others.

Commentary

To find out whether California's 2016 repeal of non-medical exemptions was associated with an increase in uptake of vaccines required for school entry, P4A researchers at George Washington University evaluated California’s new policy and tracked vaccination rates from 2012 to 2017. While vaccination coverage rose, the policy came with unintended consequences.

The Effects of State Pre-emption of Local Smoking Restrictions on Health Disparities

Public health practitioners and tobacco control advocates agree that pre-emption (a higher level of government stripping lower levels of government of their authority over a specific subject matter) has an adverse impact on tobacco control efforts. Pre-emptive state laws may prohibit local tobacco control measures, such as restrictions on marketing and promotion of tobacco products, licensure of tobacco products, smoking in public or private sites, and on youth access to tobacco products.

Local Initiatives, State Pre-emption, and Public Health

State pre-emption is an emerging and highly contentious policy movement with potentially significant consequences on population health. Yet robust analyses to examine whether pre-emption affects health have yet to be conducted. Furthermore, pre-emption’s effect on geographic inequities in health has been largely neglected in policy debates. But it is becoming increasingly clear that state pre-emption laws could reshape the spatial distribution of health, with profound consequences for health care delivery systems and state and local budgets.

How the Opioid Epidemic Impacts Children

The impact of the opioid epidemic on children, their families, and on child-serving systems (early childhood education, schools, child welfare, etc.) is not well understood. This exploratory project will examine some of the most critical dimensions, urgent challenges, and important nuances for policymakers and others, drawing on a review of the existing literature and a deeper dive into two states at the forefront of the opioid epidemic.

Did the ACA Affect Mortality and Survival?

Numerous studies have documented the ACA’s positive effects on coverage, access, and health care quality, but changes in mortality have not yet been rigorously assessed. Using data from a variety of sources, the team will assess the relationship between coverage expansion and population changes in mortality over time.

Commentary

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program is the nation's single most important source for building and preserving safe and decent affordable rental housing. It is also a potentially powerful tool for improving the health and well-being of low-income families.

Commentary

Proposed budget cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would likely result in a loss of federal housing assistance--and potential rent hikes--for thousands of low-income families. Our forthcoming study will test whether differences in the monetary value of housing assistance received by households translates into meaningful differences in health outcomes.