Laura Wherry is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at UCLA. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Wherry received her Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago with a concentration in Labor Economics. Prior to graduate school, she worked at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC and she received her B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the College of William and Mary. Her primary area of research focuses on the changing role of the Medicaid program and its impact on access to health care and health. Recent work examines the early effects of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansions and the longer-term effects of several large expansions in Medicaid targeting low-income pregnant women and children in the 1980s and 1990s.
Recent media reports have highlighted startling trends in U.S. maternal health with stark differences across racial and ethnic groups. Maternal deaths associated with pregnancy and childbirth are high when compared to other developed countries and have increased substantially over the last two decades.