Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 14 > Issue 4

The Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Voter Participation: Evidence from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

Katherine Baicker, University of Chicago, NBER, and J-PAL North America, USA, kbaicker@uchicago.edu Amy Finkelstein, MIT, NBER and J-PAL North America, USA, afink@mit.edu
 
Suggested Citation
Katherine Baicker and Amy Finkelstein (2019), "The Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Voter Participation: Evidence from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 14: No. 4, pp 383-400. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00019026

Published: 10 Oct 2019
© 2019 K. Baicker and A. Finkelstein
 
Subjects
Health Economics,  Public Economics: Social Insurance,  Elections: Voting behavior
 
Keywords
Medicaidvotingpolitical participation
 

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In this article:
Medicaid and Political Participation: Potential Channels and Existing
Intervention and Data
Analytic Framework
Results: Voting and Registration
Conclusion
References

Abstract

In 2008, a group of uninsured low-income adults in Oregon was selected by lottery for the chance to apply for Medicaid. Using this randomized design and state administrative data on voter behavior, we analyze how a Medicaid expansion affected voter turnout and registration. We find that Medicaid increased voter turnout in the November 2008 Presidential election by about 7% overall, with the effects concentrated in men (18% increase) and in residents of Democratic counties (10% increase); there is suggestive evidence that the increase in voting reflected new voter registrations, rather than increased turnout among pre-existing registrants. There is no evidence of an increase in voter turnout in subsequent elections, up to and including the November 2010 midterm election.

DOI:10.1561/100.00019026