Medicaid_ What Does It Do, and Can We Do It Better?

Janet Currie, Valentina Duque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article provides an overview of the Medicaid program and summarizes the evidence about its effectiveness in terms of providing insurance and promoting health. The evidence shows that Medicaid has improved the lives of low-income people since its creation in 1965. Expansions in Medicaid have led to increases in coverage and access to medical care, reductions in medical debt, and improvements in health outcomes with little evidence of significant reductions in beneficiaries’ labor supply. Yet there are concerns around the program’s high and increasing costs, the quality of care provided, and difficulty accessing Medicaid-funded care. We discuss some of the proposed Medicaid reforms meant to address these problems in light of previous evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-179
Number of pages32
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


  • Medicaid
  • health care
  • health insurance
  • health policy
  • medical care


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