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Jonathan Oberlander

Professor of Social Medicine and Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapter Member: North Carolina SSN
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About Jonathan

Oberlander’s research focuses on U.S. health care policy, the politics of health care reform, and Medicare. He has written on access to health insurance, health care cost control, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. He regularly speaks about health care reform to community organizations and health care associations.


In the News

"Obamacare is the Law of the Land. But It’s Still Vulnerable.," Jonathan Oberlander (with Eric M. Patashnik), The Washington Post, March 27, 2017.
Guest to discuss Obama's legacy on PBS News Hour, Jonathan Oberlander, January 9, 2017.
"Conservatives Worry that ObamaCare is a ‘Super-Statute.’ It Isn’t Quite One Yet.," Jonathan Oberlander (with Eric M. Patashnik), The Washington Post, June 28, 2015.
Jonathan Oberlander quoted on expanding Medicaid by Paige Rentz, "Supreme Court Decision a Relief in the Cape Fear Region; Focus Moves to Medicaid" Fay Observer, June 25, 2015.
"Healthy Benefits if ObamaCare Survives," Jonathan Oberlander, The News Observer, October 30, 2012.
"The ABC’s of the Health Care Law and Its Future," Jonathan Oberlander, Interview with Gina Kolata, New York Times, April 2, 2012.
Interview on the future of Medicare Jonathan Oberlander, WRVO’s the Campbell Conversations, November 4, 2011.
"What the Health Care Bill Could Do for You," Jonathan Oberlander, Interview with Scott Simon, NPR’s Weekend Edition, March 27, 2010.
"The Lost Reform: U.S. Health Reform," Jonathan Oberlander, Interview with Annabelle Quince, Australian Broadcasting Company's RadioNational, August 19, 2009.
Interview on health care reform legislation Jonathan Oberlander, CBS Sunday Morning, August 16, 2009.
"Diagnosing U.S. Health Care – And ‘Sicko,’ Too," Jonathan Oberlander, Interview with Terry Gross, NPR’s Fresh Air, July 9, 2007.


"Implementing Health Care Reform in North Carolina: Reaching and Enrolling Immigrants and Refugees," (with Krista M. Perreira, Leslie deRosset, and Gabriela Arandia), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, July 31, 2014.
Studies outreach and enrollment efforts to immigrants legally present in the United States and required to obtain health insurance coverage while living in the U.S.
"Unfinished Journey - A Century of Health Care Reform in the United States" New England Journal of Medicine 367 (2012): 585-590.
Focuses on the challenges for health insurance coverage and cost containment while presenting a historical review of U.S. health care policy; discusses major developments in the field as well as critical issues for the future.
"Throwing Darts: Americans’ Elusive Search for Health Care Cost Control" Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 36, no. 3 (2011): 477-484.
Explains why efforts at cost containment in the U.S. have fallen short, and analyzes the cost containment provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
"Medicare and the Federal Budget: Misdiagnosed Problems, Inadequate Solutions" (with Theodore Marmor and Joseph White). Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 30, no. 4 (2011): 928-934.
Explains why much of the conventional wisdom about Medicare – such as the presumption that Medicare can’t control its spending and therefore requires structural reform – is wrong and why reform proposals like that offered by Congressman Paul Ryan would hurt Medicare beneficiaries.
"The Health Bill Explained at Last" (with Theodore Marmor). New York Review of Books 57, no. 13 (August 2010): 61-63.
Presents a guide to what is and is not in the Affordable Care Act, and how the law will change the U.S. health care system.
"Long Time Coming: Why Health Reform Finally Passed" Health Affairs 29, no. 6 (2010): 1112-1116.
Analyzes the enactment of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the political strategies and circumstances that permitted the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats to pass health reform.
The Political Life of Medicare (University of Chicago Press, 2003).
Provides an overview of Medicare’s political history since 1965, exploring the evolution of program reform and the rise of partisan conflict over Medicare in recent years.