Jacob Hacker releases his plan on health care

04/08/09 Mitch E. Perry
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With Congress preparing a sweeping overhaul to the nation’s health care system, health care expert Jacob Hacker today outlined details on how the nation can structure and implement a public health insurance option as part of the overall reforms.

Hacker is the faculty co-director at the U.C. Berkeley Center on Health, Economic and Family Security, and the author of several books on public policy.

Speaking in Washington and on a conference call to reporters, Hacker said it’s obvious that health care reforms will be a public/private plan.

Hacker said the idea of a public/private plan has become more controversial in recent weeks and months, but he said that all aspects of health care reform that are essential are controversial.

Hacker’s report is called “Healthy Competition.” In it, he argues for allowing meaningfully different choices with price-setting authority.

He said the argument for a public plan competing with private plans within what he calls an exchange, is that the public plan can offer values that private companies can’t, or don’t provide. Conversely, Hacker said, there are some things that private companies can do better.

To read Hacker’s report, visit OurFuture.org.

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