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Frank J. Thompson

Board of Governors Professor of Public Affairs and Administration; Affiliated Faculty at Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, Rutgers University

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About Frank

Thompson’s research and teaching pay particular attention to federalism and the role of the executive branch in shaping who gets what from government in the health care arena. He stresses how implementation and administrative processes at the federal and state levels can do much to reshape health programs in the absence of significant changes in law. This focus intersects with issues of whether elected officials and the courts sustain democratic control over the administrative agents of government. He has served on the boards of nonprofits, including a Planned Parenthood.

In the News

Interview on Republicans' ACA replacement Frank J. Thompson, Rutgers News, March 29, 2017.


"The Safety-Net at the Crossroads: Whither Medicaid DSH?" (with Michael Gusmano), in The Health-Care Safety-Net in a Post-Reform World, edited by Mark Hall and Sara Rosenbaum (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming).
Assesses the implications of the 2010 health reform law for Medicaid subsidies to safety-net hospitals. The degree to which the program fails to target funding among and within states to areas and hospitals of greatest need comes under the microscope.
Medicaid Politics: Federalism, Policy Durability and Health Reform (Geaorgetown University Press, forthcoming).
Examines the evolution of Medicaid policy during the Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama years. Explains why the program defied the expectations of many by expanding and ultimately becoming the platform for comprehensive health reform. The role of governors, the unilateral presidency, and waivers as a policy tool receive particular attention.
"Federalism by Waiver: Medicaid and the Transformation of Long-Term Care" (with Courtney Burke). Publius: The Journal of Federalism 39, no. 1 (2009): 22-46.
Traces the role of waivers in shifting the delivery of Medicaid long-term care from nursing homes and other large institutions to the home and community.
"Executive Federalism and Medicaid Demonstration Waivers: Implications for Policy and Democratic Process" (with Courtney Burke). Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 32, no. 6 (2007): 971-1004.
Assesses the degree to which Medicaid demonstration waivers under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act significantly transformed Medicaid during the Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations.
"Administrative Responsiveness to the Disadvantaged: The Case of Children’s Health Insurance" (with James Fossett). Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 16, no. 3 (2006): 369-392.
Seeks to explain state variation in the degree to which Medicaid and CHIP programs adopted enrollment and retention procedures designed to bolster take-up rates for eligible children. Among other things, states with large Latino populations and with minimally involved governors did less to develop client-friendly procedures.
Medicaid and Devolution: A View from the States (edited with John DiIulio and Jr.) (Brookings Institution, 1998).
Explores the ways in which Medicaid underwent devolution in the 1990s. The degree to which states have the capacity and commitment to make the most of devolution receives attention.