Tue • Nov

Tuesday, November 12, 2019



5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Reception; 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Presentation; 6:30 PM - 7:15 PM Chat and Q&A


The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029


Free, but advance registration is required

The nation’s health policy debate increasingly includes calls for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system, eliminating the multi-payer private health insurance industry, and replacing it with publicly-funded coverage for all, referred to generally as a “single payer” insurer model. While the focus for most single-payer advocates (and some presidential candidates) is the movement for “Medicare-for-All,” there also are a handful of states (including New York) seriously considering a state-based single-payer program. In this talk, Professor Michael Sparer considers the politics of these single-payer proposals, at both the national and state level, while also summarizing his own views on the best path forward for an American version of universal health coverage.

Dr. Sparer’s lecture will be followed by a “fireside chat” with Elizabeth Fowler, JD, PhD and moderated by Kerry Griffin, MPA.


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 efforts to enact “public option” insurance programs, the impact of federalism on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the rise (and demise) of non-profit insurance “cooperatives.” 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 a two-time winner of the Core Curriculum Teaching Excellence Award.  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.


Elizabeth Fowler, JD, PhD currently serves as Executive Vice President of programs at the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit private foundation supporting independent health policy research to promote a high performing health system that provides affordable quality health care to all. She joined the Commonwealth Fund from Johnson & Johnson where she was Vice President for Global Health Policy. Dr. Fowler was special assistant to President Obama on healthcare and economic policy at the National Economic Council. In 2009-2010, she was Chief Health Counsel to Senate Finance Committee Chair, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), where she played a critical role developing the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act. She also played a key role drafting the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA). Dr. Fowler has nearly 25 years of experience in health policy and health services research. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where her research focused on risk adjustment, and a law degree (J.D.) from the University of Minnesota. She is admitted to the bar in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Dr. Fowler is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Aspen Health Innovators Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She serves on the board of directors for the National Quality Forum, the National Health Counsel, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the Winston Fellowship.

Kerry Griffin, MPA is Director for Population Health and Health Reform in the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, within the Research, Evaluation and Policy unit at NYAM. Ms. Griffin has more than 15 years' experience working in health research and policy. At NYAM, her portfolio areas include health reform and clinical community linkages to address the broader determinants of health, improve population health, and promote health equity. Prior to joining NYAM, she held positions supporting a variety of nonprofit, private and government organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Manatt Health in NYC. She holds an MPA from the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Event series:
Endowed Lectures and Awards