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Samuel Walter Trachtman

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California-Berkeley
Chapter Member: Bay Area SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Samuel

Trachtman's research focuses on the politics of policy reform in the U.S., specifically on climate policy and healthcare policy. His articles have appeared in outlets including the American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, and Energy Policy. More of his work can be found on


"When State Policy Makes National Politics: The Case of “Obamacare” Marketplace Implementation" Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law (forthcoming).

Develops theory to explain state-level Republican policies undermining ACA marketplaces, connecting state policy to national politics through a policy feedback mechanism. Presents evidence from three areas of marketplace implementation: navigator laws, transitional plan termination, and rating area configurations.

"Building Climate Policy in the States" Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (forthcoming).

Argues that policy feedback effects are particularly important in considering designs of state level climate and energy policies. Introduces mechanisms of feedback for a several state policy instruments, and makes policy recommendations based on those mechanisms.

"The Political Geography of ACA Marketplaces: How Political Behavior Can Help Explain Where the ACA Works, and Where It Doesn’t" Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (forthcoming).

Connects Republican under-enrollment to premium growth on the ACA marketplaces through adverse selection. Presents evidence that premiums increased at a faster rate from 2014 to 2017 in areas with more Republican voters.

"The Politics of State Climate Policy," Midwest Political Science Association, April 2019.

Estimates the factors predictive of state-level climate policy adoption across four areas: renewable portfolio standards, energy efficiency, distributed generation, and severance taxes on oil and gas extraction.

"Policy Uptake as Political Behavior: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act" (with Amy E. Lerman and Meredith L. Sadin). American Political Science Review 111, no. 4 (November 2017): 755-770.

Presents evidence that Republicans were less likely than Democrats to enroll in ACA marketplace insurance, but de-emphasizing the role of the government can close the partisan enrollment gap.

"Insurer Competition in Federally Run Marketplaces is Associated with Lower Premiums" (with Jessica S. Banthin and Paul D. Jacobs). Health Affairs 34, no. 12 (December 2015): 2027-2035.

Estimates the effect of ACA marketplace competition on marketplace prices. Finds that premiums increased more sharply in areas with less insurer competition.