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Act to prevent cuts to the National Health Interview Survey


Crucial content may be cut from one of the most valuable surveys that the U.S. Government does, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). For more than 50 years, this survey has conducted personal household interviews and gathered data that helps track health status, health care access, and progress toward achieving national health objectives.

The Minnesota Population Center has details and examples and suggestion for how you can act. Note that there is a short deadline: you must submit comments on these changes to NCHS before March 15, 2016.

The plan, announced by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), would dramatically overhaul the NHIS. The most significant proposed change is the elimination of the family questionnaire that collects basic demographic, socioeconomic, health status, disability, and health insurance information about everyone in the sampled household. Removing the measurement of family characteristics will leave a disturbing gap in public health surveillance and population data infrastructure and will harm the state of health knowledge for years to come.

If you rely on NHIS or work with those who do, we urge you to let NCHS hear what you think about these changes.

FED study says many in debt, at risk, and cannot retire


Document of the Day. The results of a survey conducted on behalf of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System have been reported in the news recently.

Some of the findings of the report include:

  • Only 53 percent of respondents indicate that they could cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money.
  • 23 percent of the adult population has some form of education debt.
  • 31 percent of non-retirees have no retirement savings or pension. Among lower-income respondents, 55 percent plan to keep working as long as possible or never plan to retire.