Harold Pollack, Bill Gardner & Timothy Jost

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration and Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago and a nonresident Fellow of the Century Foundation.

Bill Gardner is a psychologist and health services researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa. He blogs at The Incidental Economist.

Timothy Jost is an emeritus professor at Washington and Lee University and blogs about the Affordable Care Act at Health Affairs.

Recent Articles

Valuing Medicaid

Why we need it, how we should improve it.

AP Photo/Christian K. Lee
July 30 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, the two essential pillars of public health insurance in America. Medicare, for all of its shortcomings and enormous costs, has become politically unassailable—as dear to Tea Party Republicans as it is to single-payer Democrats. Medicaid has also steadily grown. Including the closely related Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid now covers more than 70 million people. Yet it has never attained the same popularity or political security as Medicare or shed the stigma of “welfare medicine” that it acquired at its founding. Whatever happens in next year’s presidential election, Medicaid will be the center of a great political fight. If the Democrats win, they should seek to expand the program to cover nearly four million poor and uninsured Americans shut out of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. If the Republicans win, they will likely reduce Medicaid funding, and perhaps...