Book of the Month Club!

I posted previously that some of my colleagues swooned (a few literally) over the author of The Great Risk Shift, Jacob Hacker.

The new book that has lots of buzz is by Jonathan Cohn, an editor with The New Republic, entitled, Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis — And The People That Pay The Price.
I haven’t read the book, but he’s a good reporter and column writer who knows the issues, so I look forward to it. For in or around Berkeley, he’s slated to talk at Cody’s Books on April 19th.

He had an interesting article this Sunday in the New York Times Magazine, which was pointed out by frequent reader Karina as well as The Health Care Blog. The article suggests that big business might finally be coming around to the notion of universal health care.
The article’s primary focus is Californian Steve Burd, CEO of Safeway. For Sacramento watchers, he made news during the announcement of Governor Schwarzenegger’s health plan when he stated that the Governor’s employer requirement was too low–something I agreed with him a few seats later.
Unlike some other articles, Cohn doesn’t embellish Burd’s role or his message around preventative care: he clearly reports Burd’s role in a bitter Southern California labor dispute about health care, and Burd’s overall philosophy about reducing benefits and increasing cost-sharing.
Cohn mentioned how Burd largely sat out the Clinton health care debate; Cohn doesn’t mention that Burd sat out the SB2/Prop 72 debate about employer coverage here in California–just as he was engaged in bargaining down benefits. Now he’s engaging in the public policy discourse, but the real test is coming up: those grocery workers contract are up again this year, and we’ll see Safeway’s commitment to health care to their own workers, much less universal care.
Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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