The California Budget Project came out with a three page paper, asking questions about the Governor’s health care proposal. These are important questions, and we are trying to get the answers. At the same time, we shouldn’t let those questions get in the way of full-throated advocacy for the reforms we want and need this year.
CBP’s conference is next week, and the headliner is Jacob Hacker, the author of The Great Risk Shift. It’s one of those important books that come along every couple of years that puts everything in perspective about several different policy debates, not just health care but the fight over Social Security, bankruptcy reform, pensions, etc.
People try to boil the health care conversation to money and “who pays?” and while that’s an important question, the more fundamental question is, “who bears the risk?” I’ve heard everybody from Sen. Darrell Steinberg to Schwarzenegger chief of staff Susan Kennedy ask this question. It gives me some hope that if we are asking the right questions, we might get to the right answer this year.
Jacob Hacker describes why the question is so important, and gives his own answer. To get a taste, view this YouTube clip:
I look forward to seeing and hearing him in California next week.