Michael Sparer, JD, PHD

  • Professor, Health Policy and Management
  • Chair, Health Policy and Management
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Michael S. Sparer, JD, PhD, is Professor and Chair in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Professor Sparer studies and writes about the politics of health care, with a particular emphasis on the health insurance and health delivery systems for low-and-middle income populations, both in the United States and globally. His current projects include a study of the rise (and demise) of most of the non-profit insurance "cooperatives" created by the Affordable Care Act, an analysis of the cross-national politics of public health, and an examination of political and policy implications of permitting all Americans to buy-into Medicaid. He is a two-time winner of the Mailman School's Student Government Association Teacher of the Year Award, the recipient of a 2010 Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the winner of the Core Curriculum Teaching Excellence Award. Professor Sparer spent seven years as a litigator for the New York City Law Department, specializing in inter-governmental social welfare litigation. After leaving the practice of law, Sparer obtained a PhD in Political Science from Brandeis University. Sparer is the former editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, and the author of Medicaid and the Limits of State Health Reform, as well as numerous articles and book chapters.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, Health Policy and Management
  • Chair, Health Policy and Management

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • JD, 1980 Rutgers University School of Law (Newark)
  • PhD, 1992 Brandeis University

Committees, Societies, Councils

Member, National Advisory Committee, RWJ Synthesis Program

Editor, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

Member, National Academy of Social Insurance

Member, Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy

Editorial Boards

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

Honors & Awards

RWJ Health Policy Investigator Award, 2003


Research Interests

  • Healthcare Policy