My academic research is motivated by an interest in the dynamic interplay between policy design and organized political behavior. I consider the structure and political rationale of public policies and how these varying and evolving frameworks of governance influence patterns of political support through resource and interpretive effects that provide social actors with tools of agency while shaping how issues are defined and understood. To do so, I draw on the political history and implementation of education, health, and energy policies and their constellations of political and private institutions and their interaction.

My dissertation examines the politics of high-stakes test data created by the federal No Child Left Behind Act amid a broader data-driven political environment.

As a research fellow at the Georgetown University health Policy Institute, my research focused on the intersection of public and private coverage programs with an emphasis on Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges and market reforms.

As an Analyst at the Government Accountability Office, I am currently working on a project that consider behavioral health services utilization in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.

Selected projects and publications


Title: Education Policy and the Politics of Performance

Committee: Sarah Pralle (Chair), Keith Bybee, Kristi Andersen, Mark Rupert, Tina Nabatchi

Summary and chapter outline

Working papers

Miskell, Sean, “Submerging the State: The Politics of Medicaid Expansion” (revise and resubmit)

Miskell, Sean, “Building Institutions Around Data: No Child Left Behind and Policy Feedback,” Paper accepted for presentation at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 2016

Miskell, Sean. “Who Was Health Reform For? The Affordable Care, Act, the Submerged State, and Policy Drift”

Pralle, Sarah and Sean Miskell, “The Politics of US Energy Subsidies”

Georgetown University Center for Children and Families

Whitener, Kelly, JoAnn Volk, Sean Miskell, and Joan Alker, “The Future of Children’s Health Coverage: Children in the Marketplace,” Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, June 2016.

Brooks, Tricia, Sean Miskell, Samantha Artiga, Elizabeth Cornachione, and Alexandra Gates, “50 State Survey of Eligibility, Enrollment, and Renewal in Medicaid and CHIP,” Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured,” January 2016.

Alker, Joan, Sean Miskell, MaryBeth Musumeci, and Robin Rudowitz “Medicaid Premium Assistance Programs: What Information is Available About Benefit and Cost-Sharing Wrap-Around Coverage?” Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, December 2015

Sean Miskell and Joan Alker. “Federal ‘Maintenance of Effort’ Requirements Help Kids Maintain Health Coverage Amid Tough Budget Climates,” Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families, March 2015

Author page at Say Ahh!, a Children’s Health Policy Blog

Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms

Lucia, Kevin, Justin Giovannelli, Sean Miskell, and Ashley Williams. “Innovation Waivers and the ACA: As Federal Officials Flesh Out Key Requirements for Modifying the Health Law, States Tread Slowly,” The Commonwealth Fund, February 17, 2016

Corlette, Sabrina and Sean Miskell, Julia Lerche, and Justin Giovannelli, “Why are Many CO-OPs Failing? How New Nonprofit Health Plans Have Responded to Market Competition” The Commonwealth Fund, December 2015

Miskell, Sean and David Cusano, “Proposed Premium Rate Increases for 2016: The Jury Is Still Out,” The Commonwealth Fund, July 21, 2015

Miskell, Sean, Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette, “State-Based Marketplaces Look for Financing Stability in Shifting Landscape,” The Commonwealth Fund, May 14, 2015,

Corlette, Sabrina, Kevin Lucia, Justin Giovannelli and Sean Miskell. “The Affordable Care Act CO-OP Program: Facing Both Barriers and Opportunities for More Competitive Health Insurance Markets,” The Commonwealth Fund, March 12, 2013

Lucia, Kevin, Justin Giovannelli and Sean Miskell. “After a Slow Start, Federal Small Business Health Insurance Marketplace Offers New and Improved Functions,” The Commonwealth Fund, February 19, 2015

Miskell, Sean, Kevin Lucia, Justin Giovannelli. “State-Based Marketplaces Offer More Health Plan Choices for 2015 Coverage,” The Commonwealth Fund, December 1, 2014.

Dash, Sarah, Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia, and Sean Miskell. “State Marketplace Approaches to Financing and Sustainability,” The Commonwealth Fund, November 6, 2014.

Government Accountability Office

Government Accountability Office,Medicaid Expansion: Behavioral Health Treatment Use in Selected States in 2014,” GAO 17-529, Washington, DC: June 22, 2017

Maryland Center on Economic Policy

Miskell, Sean, “Student Debt in Maryland: A Cap and Gown Shouldn’t be a Ball and Chain,” September 2014

Miskell, Sean, “Bursting the Bubble: The Challenges of Working and Living in the National Capital Region,” June 2014 (with the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis

Miskell, Sean, “Maryland Pays a High Cost for Federal Immigration Enforcement,” February 2014

Miskell, Sean, “Cutting the Corporate Income Tax Will Not Bring Broad Prosperity to Maryland,” January 2014


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