Berkeley Law releases new report that describes how to create public health insurance plan

Attention: reporters and editors covering health care, medical news, politics

Report explains how to structure a public plan as part of national health care reform, explores options for “Medicare-like” choice

Media contact: Susan Gluss, 510.642.6936,

WHAT: News Conference Wednesday

Health care expert Jacob Hacker, faculty co-director of the Berkeley Center on Health, Economic & Family Security at UC Berkeley School of Law, will release one of the first reports to detail how the nation can structure and implement a public health insurance option as part of overall health care reform. Hacker and Roger Hickey, co-director of the Institute for America’s Future, will hold a news conference on Wednesday to discuss the report, which was jointly published by Berkeley Law and the Institute. Call-in information for west coast journalists provided below.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 8

TIME: 9 a.m. PT/12 noon ET

WHERE: Institute for America’s Future, Washington D.C.

CALL-IN: 877-719-9795, code 2677344

Jacob Hacker, co-director, Berkeley Center on Health, Economic & Family Security at UC Berkeley School of Law;
Roger Hickey, co-director, Institute for America’s Future.

ISSUE: More than 45 million Americans are uninsured, and the number is growing. The majority are under 65, unemployed, or underemployed. In California alone, roughly 500,000 adults have lost their health insurance since the start of the recession in 2007. The problem? Cost—and a deterioration of private health insurance. Americans are dying from treatable diseases because they can’t afford private insurance and public options are not available for all. The answer? A national public health care option that competes with private plans. But the insurance industry is fighting this idea. Hacker and Hickey will explain why a public health care option will work and how it will allow California to accomplish its own health reform goals.

“Without public plan choice, private health insurers will still be able to game the system to maximize their profits while failing to provide health security over the long run.” Jacob Hacker