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

36 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2018

See all articles by Katherine Baicker

Katherine Baicker

Harvard University - Department of Health Policy & Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Amy Finkelstein

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 6, 2018

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 percent overall, with the effects concentrated in men (18 percent increase) and in residents of democratic counties (10 percent increase); there is suggestive evidence that the increase in voting reflected new voter registrations, rather than increased turnout among preexisting registrants. There is no evidence of an increase in voter turnout in subsequent elections, up to and including the November 2010 midterm election.

Suggested Citation

Baicker, Katherine and Finkelstein, Amy, The Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Voter Participation: Evidence from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment (November 6, 2018). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2018-76. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3279592 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3279592

Katherine Baicker (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Health Policy & Management ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Amy Finkelstein

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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