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Press Release, State Efforts

USofCare Premieres New Video on Medicaid Buy-In at Panel Event

Published On March 19, 2019

Washington, DC – United States of Care has added to its body of resources on Medicaid buy-in with a new explainer video and panel event. These resources provide clear, actionable information for researchers, policymakers, media, and anyone interested in learning more about this exciting, state-led approach to expand access to affordable health care.

The organization recently brought together health care researchers and policy experts for an engaging panel discussion, titled “The Future of Health Care?: Medicaid Buy-In and State Trailblazing in Health Care.” The event was presented in partnership with the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

The panel kicked off with the premiere of a new United States of Care video that breaks down the basics of Medicaid buy-in. The video highlights how states can take the lead on tackling our country’s most pressing health care issues – cost and access – by allowing people who would not otherwise qualify for Medicaid to “buy in” to a similar program.

“United States of Care is committed to introducing and evaluating health policy proposals that lead to meaningful, long-lasting change. In order for this to happen, policymakers, researchers and the general public must first understand how different policy options can work to increase access to health care and lower costs. We are proud to add a new video to our growing collection of resources on Medicaid buy-in, and to have brought together health policy experts to discuss this approach,” said Kristin Wikelius, Senior Policy Director at United States of Care.

“The new United States of Care video and panel discussion highlight an innovative policy area that many states are actively discussing right now. Along with the recently launched Medicaid Buy-in Playbook, these will be a significant set of resources for advocates and states blazing new trails in health policy,” said Heather Howard, Lecturer in Public Affairs and Director of State Health and Value Strategies at Princeton University, who spoke on the panel.

“States should continue to take the lead on developing innovative health policy solutions and flexible program designs that meet each state’s unique needs and priorities, and Medicaid buy-in is one of many options that states can use. United States of Care is providing a valuable resource to assist policymakers in making informed decisions” said John McCarthy, Policy Fellow at United States of Care.

“Americans and policymakers agree that there is a need for change in our health care system. However, the devil is very much in the details when it comes to what that change should look like. Events like this one, convening thought leaders, and creating resources are crucial to building a consensus around the challenges and opportunities that must be addressed,“ said Emma Sandoe, Ph.D. Candidate in Health Policy at Harvard University, who also spoke on the panel.

A video of the event will be available on the United States of Care website, and will include full remarks from the following speakers:

  • Andy Slavitt, Board Chair, United States of Care; Former Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Emma Sandoe, Ph.D. candidate in Health Policy, Harvard University
  • Heather Howard, Lecturer in Public Affairs and Director, State Health and Value Strategies, Princeton University
  • John McCarthy, Policy Fellow, United States of Care
  • Hon. Tony Lourey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Moderator: Jonathan Cohn, senior national correspondent, HuffPost

To learn more about Medicaid buy-in, visit

About the Petrie-Flom Center

The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School was founded in 2005 through a generous gift from Joseph H. Flom and the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation. The Center’s founding mission was to promote interdisciplinary analysis and legal scholarship in these fields. Today, the Center has grown into a leading research program dedicated to the unbiased legal and ethical analysis of pressing questions facing health policymakers, medical professionals, patients, families, and others who influence and are influenced by health care and the health care system. To achieve this goal, the Center fosters a community of leading intellectuals, practitioners, and policymakers from a variety of backgrounds at all stages in their careers, across Harvard University and across the world.