Michael S. Sparer

Michael S. Sparer is professor and chair of health policy and management at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. 

Recent Articles

Buying Into Medicaid: A Viable Path for Universal Coverage

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
This article appears in the Winter 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine as part of a joint project with the Century Foundation on Health Reform 2020 . Subscribe here to The American Prospect . With the failure (so far) of Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, emboldened Democrats are releasing proposals and drafting legislation that would expand coverage to some (or all) of the nation’s remaining uninsured. Most such proposals call for expanding Medicare, the federal program that covers the aged and disabled. The argument here, however, is that Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income populations, offers the best path forward, from both a political and a policy perspective. Medicaid could be an affordable and attractive option for those buying coverage on the ACA exchanges, stabilizing markets that otherwise lack adequate competition and offering a realistic path to an American version of universal coverage. Medicaid’s...