Medicare and Pediacare: A Strategy that Never Matured

  • John E. Tropman University of Michigan, School of Social Work
Keywords: Wilbur Cohen, Medicare, Pediacare, War on Poverty, public policy, incrementalism


This article surveys the life and work of Wilbur Cohen, an architect of and behind-the-scenes actor in War on Poverty legislation and politics. It focuses specifically on his mastery of the incrementalist approach to policy goals, the quantitative foundation of his work, and his dual role as policy developer and professor which formed his practitioner-academic approach to knowledge and activism during a pivotal point in American history.

Author Biography

John E. Tropman, University of Michigan, School of Social Work

ohn Tropman is the Henry J. Meyer Collegiate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan School of Social Work.  He graduated from Oberlin College, The University of Chicago (Social Service Administration) and the University of Michigan  (Ph.D. in Social work and Sociology.)  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and, in 1988, received the Wilbur J. Cohen Award from the School of Education, University of Michigan.