Karra Publishes Research on Medicare & Medicaid Expansion

May 22, 2020

Mahesh Karra, Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy at the Frederick S. Pardee School for Global Studies at Boston University, wrote a recently published study on public opinion on the future expansion of Medicare and Medicaid.

The study, published on May 22, 2020, was designed to understand the possible framing effects that drive constituents’ views around Medicare For All (MFA) and Medicaid Buy‐In (MBI).

From the abstract:

In this study, we conduct a polling experiment to understand the possible framing effects that drive constituents’ views around MFA and MBI. We recruited 5,051 US adults aged 18 and older to participate in an online poll conducted between September 12, 2018, and September 26, 2018. Participants were randomized to receive one of four polls: (a) a poll measuring respondent approval for MFA, with the name of the proposal stated with a description; (b) a poll measuring approval for MFA, with only a description of the proposal; (c) a poll measuring approval for MBI, with the name stated with a description; or (d) a poll measuring approval for MBI, with only a description. We find that including the names “Medicare For All” and “Medicaid Buy‐In” increases approval by 3.4 (from 32.7 percent to 36.1 percent) and 5.0 (from 50.1 percent to 55.1 percent) percentage points, respectively. Support varies by age, where MBI is most strongly supported by Millennials, while Baby Boomers and those older than 65 are more likely to support MFA. Our findings show that constituents are more likely to support a proposal when given the names of the proposal. Approval is also higher for health policies that are framed as expansions of existing policies than as new programs.

An overview of the publication can be found here. The full text of the study is available here.

Mahesh Karra’s academic and research interests are broadly in development economics, health economics, quantitative methods, and applied demography. His research utilizes experimental and non-experimental methods to investigate the relationships between population, health, and economic development in low- and middle-income countries. Read more about him here.

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