The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Poverty

FEB 15, 2018 | 4:30 PM TO 6:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




February 15, 2018: 4:30 PM-6:30 PM




Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC)


ARC Seminar
Sanders Korenman
Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College

"The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Poverty"

Abstract: Health reforms in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) make possible a valid Health Inclusive Poverty Measure (HIPM)—a measure that incorporates a need for health insurance in the poverty threshold and counts health insurance benefits as resources available to meet that need (Korenman and Remler 2016). We implement a national HIPM to study the impact on poverty of state Medicaid expansions and other health insurance benefits under the ACA. Results suggest that the poverty measure matters. We use the HIPM to account for impacts of the health insurance benefits on poverty rates and gaps (poverty depth) and, more generally, to describe how including health in poverty measurement shape our understanding of the nature of US poverty and the impact of social programs.

Bio: Sanders Korenman is Professor in the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY, the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research and the CUNY Graduate Center. He served as Senior Economist for labor, welfare, and education for President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and was a member of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Academy of Sciences. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. With support from the Russell Sage Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation he and Dahlia Remler have developed a poverty measure that includes a basic need for health care and incorporates health insurance benefits. They are using this measure to assess the impact of health insurance benefits on poverty, particularly under the Affordable Care Act. Korenman and Remler’s paper on the impact of the Massachusetts health reforms on poverty appeared in the December 2016 Journal of Health Economics.  His prior positions include Associate Professor in the Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota and Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. He teaches courses in poverty and social policy, the economic analysis of public policy, and research methods.