Gillings School Directory

Jonathan Oberlander, PhD

Jonathan Oberlander

Jonathan Oberlander, PhD

Department of Health Policy and Management
Professor and Chair
Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor
Political Science
  • 346 MacNider
  • CB #7240
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7240

Dr. Oberlander is a political scientist interested in the politics of health care and health care reform. His research and writing has explored Medicare, the political history of struggles over national health insurance, state health reform, and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Recently, he has been working on projects related to health care cost control, implementation of and ongoing political conflicts surrounding the Affordable Care Act, and Medicare reform. He seeks to understand how American politics and political institutions shape health care policy and the fate of reform. 

In the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Dr. Oberlander teaches a course through the Department of Health Policy & Management on health care reform to Masters and PhD students and a course on the politics of public health to undergraduate BSPH students.  In the School of Medicine, he teaches health care policy to medical students. 

Honors and Awards

Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize

2006, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Teaching Excellence Award

2004, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Research Activities

  • Medicare
  • Health politics and policy
  • Healthcare reform
  • Health reform implementation
  • Health care cost control
  • American politics and public policy

Key Publications

Technocratic Dreams, Political Realities: The Rise and Demise of Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board. Oberlander, J. and S. Spivack. (2018). Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 43(3), 483-510.

The End of Obamacare. Oberlander, J. (2017). New England Journal of Medicine, 376(1), 1-3.

In the Affordable Care Act’s Shadow: The Fate of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Oberlander, J, D. Jones, S. Spivack, and P. Singer. (2016). Health Affairs, 35(10), 1835-1841.

Implementing the Affordable Care Act: The Promise and Limits of Health Care Reform. Oberlander, J. (2016). Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 41(4), 803-826.

Leap of Faith: Medicare’s New Physician Payment System. Oberlander, J. and M.J. Laugesen.  (2015). New England Journal of Medicine, 373(13), 1185-1187.

From HMOs to ACOs: The Quest for the Holy Grail in U.S. Health Policy. Marmor T. and J. Oberlander. (2012). Journal of General Internal Medicine, 27(9), 1215-18.

The Political Life of Medicare. Oberlander, J.  (2003). University of Chicago Press.


PhD, Political science, Yale University, 1995

MPhil, Political science, Yale University, 1993

MA, Political Science, Yale University, 1990

BA, Political science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1989

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