Laura Wherry

Assistant Professor
Organization
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University

Laura Wherry is an Assistant Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU.  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, as well as the longer-term effects of several large expansions in Medicaid targeting low-income pregnant women and children in the 1980s and 1990s. Prior to joining NYU, she was an assistant professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan.

Laura received her Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago's Harris School and her B.A. from the College of William and Mary. 

Projects

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.

Evidence

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The period before pregnancy is critically important for the health of a woman and her infant, yet not all women have access to health insurance during this time. Rebecca Myerson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Samuel Crawford of the University of Southern California, and Laura R. Wherry of New York University evaluated whether increased access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansions affected ten preconception health indicators, including the prevalence of chronic conditions and health behaviors, birth control use and pregnancy intention, and the receipt of preconception health services.