Scholar Spotlight: Phil Rocco

  • Medicare & Medicaid
  • Health Care
  • Health Care Reform
Marquette University

This week, we're highlighting Phil Rocco, who has been leading the SSN Medicaid Working Group on using scholarship to inform Medicaid policy debates. The group is circulating a model bill, which reframes the work requirements issue and uses other research-based solutions, to state legislatures and associations. The bill has gained praise from associations like the Arthritis Foundation and the American Heart Association, as well as a Pennsylvania state legislator.

Scholar Spotlight

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Rocco's research examines the political economy of policy knowledge in the United States. A central dilemma of contemporary American politics is that ideological polarization has eroded a shared cognitive basis for reasoning about how to solve public problems. To better understand this dilemma, his work builds on comparative political economy scholarship on how the US “knowledge regime”—the organizational infrastructure that generates ideational frameworks, analysis, and advice—affects the way that policymakers recognize problems, build coalitions, and develop viable policy solutions. While existing work treats variation in knowledge regimes across national contexts, he shows that variation within the US context—across time, policy area, and institutional venue—has significant consequences for the character of public policy. His published and forthcoming work also focuses on how fragmented policy designs are shaping the politics and policy of health care in the US, as well as how policymakers and frontline workers overcome challenges associated with fragmentation.