Naomi Zewde

Naomi Zewde is a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy at CUNY. Zewde joins Roosevelt from the School of Social Work at Columbia, where she was a Post Doctoral Research Scientist in the Center of Poverty and Social Policy. She is formerly a member of the research staff at the Penn Wharton Budget Model and a visiting researcher at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Her research centers on economic inequality in wealth and in health insurance, and examines the ability of public policies to reduce these inequalities. Her forthcoming empirical study of universal trust funds, or “Baby Bonds,” has been covered widely by popular press outlets including the New York Times and the Washington Post. She has a series of articles on the economic impacts of public healthcare coverage via Medicaid expansion, including its impacts on poverty and on rates of home eviction, published in the journal Health Affairs and the American Journal of Public Health. Zewde holds a PhD in health policy from Penn State University, and an MPH and BA from Emory.

Health care—and the prospect of a single-payer system—has gotten a lot of attention at the national level and in presidential debates this year. And for good reason: The costs of health care are consistently rising faster than the economy overall, and households are bearing those increased costs through growing premiums and deductibles. That means many

Amidst the major health care policy differences highlighted at Tuesday’s Democratic debate, we must not forget one telling statistic: While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has extended insurance coverage to millions, a majority of Americans who were uninsured prior to passage of the law still remain uninsured today.  Relative to the most credible forecasts from

Did Marketplace Coverage Really Offer Financial Protection? Financial Gains from the Affordable Care Act’s Private Insurance Policies for the Previously Uninsured While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded health coverage to millions of Americans, more than half of the people eligible for the law’s private insurance marketplace remained uninsured. Today, most of those who were

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