Beland Rocco Waddan 8Béland, Daniel, Philip Rocco, and Alex Waddan. 2016.  Obamacare Wars: Federalism, State Politics, and the Affordable Care Act. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.

This book is the first monograph devoted to the politics of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation in the 50 states. Our political and comparative analysis of federalism and health care reform focuses on three major policy innovations : health-insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion, and regulatory reform.


Praise for Obamacare Wars:

“Highly recommended” – Choice

Obamacare Wars might be the guide to policy in a new world of polarized, racialized politics where at least one of our two political parties seems not to have read classical political science about coalitions and interests.”  – Perspectives on Politics 

Obamacare Wars provides a thoughtful, well-written account of the fascinating politics associated with [the ACA’s] implementation. The book illustrates the value of a detailed empirical case study. It is an important contribution to the field of policy implementation and the politics of health policy.” – Political Science Quarterly

“Béland, Rocco, and Waddan contribute significantly to our understanding of implementation in federal systems by demonstrating convincingly that the politics and strategies of implementing this single piece of health care reform legislation in the American states were myriad and a function not only of partisan polarization but also of the diverse policy issues embedded within the law.”- The Journal of Politics

Obamacare Wars Federalism: State Politics and the Affordable Care Act provides insight into policy and program implementation of a complex and politically contentious law. (…) The strength of the work is that it takes previous theory on implementation, adds to it and applies it to the implementation of the ACA. The results help explain how and why health care reform has been unevenly enacted across the states.” – Publius: The Journal of Federalism

“The first serious analysis of a neglected but vital aspect of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare Wars offers an informed and revealing look at the varied role of the states in the implementation of President Obama’s landmark federal health law. Ideal for both graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as law, business, and public health programs, the book should be read by anyone trying to understand the post-enactment struggles that have resulted in millions of Americans obtaining new coverage—and millions more waiting for it as their state leaders resist federal intentions.” – Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University

Edited Volume

  • Callen, Zachary and Philip Rocco, eds. American Political Development and the Trump Presidency (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters