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Opioids, Guns Divide Democrats, Republicans On Health Threats

Republicans see fentanyl and other opioids as the biggest threat to Americans’ public health, while Democrats say it's guns, reports Axios. The Axios-Ipsos American Health Index sheds light on how partisan divisions and education levels play into the wrangling over public health policies, and how they guide the parties' political messaging. The survey also found that Americans overwhelmingly want private health insurance companies to cover weight-loss drugs and support capping out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 per month. The national survey of 1,213 U.S. adults found that popular concerns over opioids — including fentanyl, a synthetic — vary by education level, not just by party.

There's a big divide among those worried about guns, based on where they live: twenty two percent of urban residents and seventeen percent of suburban residents cited gun violence as their biggest concern, compared with just eight percent of rural Americans. Heart disease and cancer actually were the two leading causes of death in the U.S. as of 2021, followed by COVID-19 and accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the survey about health concerns, cancer ranked a distant fourth, with coronavirus, unsafe roads or driving, smoking and tobacco products, and alcohol abuse next in line. The findings square with the priorities lawmakers are pursuing on Capitol Hill. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee kicked off the year under the new Republican majority with a hearing on fentanyl, while House Democrats have asked for a classified briefing on mass shootings.


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