Indispensable Health Wonkery

One of the central fights in any health care reform Obama pursues will be over having a new public health plan for non-seniors offered to compete against the private health plan options offered to people who lack secure workplace coverage. If you want to think intelligently about this, the place to start is Jacob Hacker’s 20 page paper making the case for the public plan option. Hacker, who recently moved to Berkeley from Yale (proving once again that all the interesting people eventually settle in California...:)), is the thinker behind this reform – his work on it from several years back was picked up by John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and of course Obama, and he’ll be a critical behind-the-scenes voice in the evolving debate. Unless the health insurers can mount a convincing rebuttal to Hacker’s arguments and analysis, it’s hard to see how they can win this battle – at least on the merits.


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