The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that publishes The Milbank Quarterly, commissions projects, and convenes state health policy decision makers on issues they identify as important to population health.
We focus on a number of topic areas identified by state health policy leaders as important to population health.
The Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University is a national leader in evidence-based decision making and policy design.
Keep up with news and updates from the Milbank Memorial Fund. Get the latest from thought leaders, including Christopher F. Koller, president of the Fund.
We publish The Milbank Quarterly, as well as reports, issues briefs, and case studies on topics important to population health.
Feb 28, 2018 | Christopher F. Koller, President
Because the federal government can print money, the federal government can spend it. And spend it did, when the Affordable Care Act—even as adjusted by the Supreme Court—picked up 100% of the tab for newly eligible Medicaid enrollees, instead of the national average of 55%. But now that federal share is slowly decreasing—to 90% by 2020—and states that expanded Medicaid, lacking the … Read more
Jan 29, 2018 | Christopher F. Koller, President
“Don’t steal. The government hates competition.” —Bumper sticker. While grousing about the burden of taxes and shoddy government services like the Department of Motor Vehicles is a popular—and often justified—pastime, a deeper and more serious antipathy to the role of government in our society has again come to the fore in recent years. Some attribute its roots to the Reagan Revolution … Read more
Dec 20, 2017 | Christopher F. Koller, President
It takes two to tango. The partners must agree on the music and the steps. After spending this fall meeting with state health policy leaders from across the country, I am not sure state or federal officials know the health policy tune, let alone the dance. Every fall, the Milbank Memorial Fund convenes the members of its Reforming States Group (RSG)—state teams of executive and legislative … Read more
Nov 29, 2017 | Christopher F. Koller, President
Who should the Medicaid program serve? And who decides? These questions have been implicit through much of 2017, as we endured a remarkably uninformed “repeal and replace” debate in Congress. The November announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of new policies for section 1115 waiver consideration and review tees them up again. The answers are subject to … Read more
Oct 31, 2017 | Christopher F. Koller, President
A couple of years ago, a graduate school professor with deep and senior health policy experience at the state and federal levels looked at me with raised eyebrows and asked, “Does state health policy even matter?” He was being provocative, implying that federal policies, large socioeconomic factors, and parochial politics could all swamp the well-intentioned efforts of earnest state-level … Read more
Sep 26, 2017 | Christopher F. Koller, President
Sandy Praeger did not seek to be a leader. “Local party officials had to keep asking me,” she said of her first public position as a member of the Lawrence City Council. “The same thing happened when I was asked to run for the Kansas House of Representatives—I thought I was done.” But now public service was in her blood, and she went on to serve as chair of several committees in the … Read more
Aug 29, 2017 | Christopher F. Koller, President
With the Senate Affordable Care Act (ACA) “repeal and replace” effort collapsing into partisan rubble (how did you learn about the dramatic US Senate vote in the early hours of July 28?), attention will turn to whether and how the states will assemble the pieces of a health policy agenda. A new survey of state legislators may give us some clues and shed insights into what bipartisanship in … Read more
Jul 31, 2017 | Christopher F. Koller, President
We all have our obsessions. Many are best not shared, although sometimes airing them is helpful, especially when they are informed by research. One of my persistent professional preoccupations is the US health care system’s stubborn aversion to orient itself to the fundamental importance of primary care. Fortunately, I am not alone in being somewhat haunted by this issue—and a new report by … Read more
Jun 20, 2017 | Christopher F. Koller, President
The game of hot potato ends one of two ways—someone drops the potato as it is being tossed or it finally cools off. But what happens if the potato stays hot? How long can you get everybody to keep playing catch? How do you get it to cool off? We are playing hot potato with health care costs in the United States—shifting them to whomever we can. Some new analyses on health care spending … Read more
May 30, 2017 | Christopher F. Koller, President
Like rising sea levels, Medicaid costs are flooding state and federal budgets. Medicaid reform efforts, such as those in the American Health Care Act (AHCA), promise more flexibility to states to take on these Medicaid cost challenges. They need, however, to be viewed with caution by state policymakers: addressing the problem should not involve leaky sandbags or throwing people into the … Read more
by Christopher Koller | President, Milbank Memorial Fund
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The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that works to improve the health of populations by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best available evidence and experience.