Phillip M. Singer

PhD candidate in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, with a concentration in Political Science.

Curriculum Vitae »
Phillip Singer Headshot


My research focuses on Medicaid, comparative health policies, and health politics. I have researched, published, and presented extensively on political communications, waivers, mental health and substance abuse, the Affordable Care Act, and health workforce. I have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, JAMA, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, and the American Journal of Public Health, amongst others.

My dissertation, "Medicaid Expansion and the States: Implementation, Politics, and the Affordable Care Act," explores the development and implementation of health policy in an era of political polarization and partisanship. I use a mixed-methods approach to understand the shifting partisan dynamics and implementation decisions made by states to expand their Medicaid programs. In June 2012, the United States Supreme Court held that no state was compelled to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. In response to this flexibility, theory and evidence suggested that state implementation decisions would sort along political lines, with Republican policymakers rejecting the Medicaid expansion. However, that has not been the case.

Using key informant interviews and text analysis of government, legal, and archival materials, I trace and compare the development and implementation of Medicaid expansion programs. I find that partisanship matters in the implementation of Medicaid expansion, but that the institutional design, division of power, and interest groups limit and influence partisanship while shaping policy outcomes. My dissertation offers insight into important theoretical considerations of implementation, federalism, and political parties, highlighting how Republican policymakers grapple with the tradeoffs of transactional federalism while navigating the dynamics of a highly partisan and polarized policy.

Research Interests

  • Politics of healthcare
  • Medicaid
  • Federalism
  • State politics
  • Health reform
  • Federal and state political institutions

Published Articles

  1. Singer PM, Noppert G, & Jenkins C. Gaps in Federal and State Screening of Tuberculosis in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. 2017. 107(11): 1750.
  2. Singer PM, Tipirneni R, & Nelson D. Consumer-Directed Health Care for Medicaid Patients: Past and Future Reforms. American Journal of Public Health. 2017. 107(10): 1592–1594.
  3. Willison C & Singer PM. Repealing the Affordable Care Act Essential Health Benefits: Threats and Obstacles. American Journal of Public Health. 2017. 107(8): 1225–1226.
  4. Greer SL & Singer PM. Addressing Zika in the United States: Polarization, Fragmentation, and Public Health. American Journal of Public Health. 2017. 107(6): 861–862.
  5. Singer PM. States of Reform: Polarization, Long-term services and supports, and Medicaid Waivers. State and Local Government Review. 2016. 48(4): 246–258.
  6. Singer PM. The Future of Health Reform: Section 1332 Waivers and State-Led Reform. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2017. 376: 108–111.
  7. Oberlander J, Jones DK, & Singer PM. In the ACA's Shadow: The Fate of the Children's Health Insurance Program. Health Affairs. 2016. 35(10): 1835–1841.
  8. Grogan CG, Singer PM, & Jones DK. Rhetoric and Reform in Waiver States. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. 2017. 42(2): 247–248.
  9. Greer SL & Singer PM. The United States Confronts Ebola: Suasion, Executive Action, and Fragmentation. Health Economics, Policy and Law. 2017. 12(1): 81–104.
  10. Rozier MD & Singer PM. Money, Politics, and Morality in the Framing of Medicaid Expansion. American Journal of Public Health. 2016. 106(2): 203–204.
  11. Jones DK, Singer PM, & Ayanian JZ. The Changing Landscape of Medicaid: Practical and Political Considerations for Expansion. JAMA. 2014. 311(19): 1965–1966.

Book Chapters

  1. Singer PM & Greer S. Social Policy in the United States. The Student's Companion to Social Policy, eds. Pete Alcock, Margaret May, and Sharon Wright. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. 2016.