UC-Berkeley Reports Call for Employer-Based Health Reform Efforts
Yesterday, researchers at UC-Berkeley released two new reports calling for employers to play a greater role in providing health insurance for their workers and the uninsured population, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Along with the studies, a coalition of 330 health experts, business leaders and economists unveiled a petition urging the government to "move boldly" on health care reform.
Both Berkeley studies advocate a "pay-or-play" policy, which would require all employers to offer health coverage or pay a tax to support a public insurance pool.
Phillip Cryan, author of the report prepared for the Economic Policy Institute and the Institute for America's Future, said the payroll tax would help generate funds for an employer-based approach to overhauling the health care system. He also said health reform would "add a very large number of jobs to the economy."
Jacob Hacker, co-author of the second report with Ken Jacobs, proposed imposing a "modest" 5% to 6% payroll tax for companies that do not directly provide health insurance to employees. Hacker and Jacobs' report also describes lessons learned from California's experiences with health care (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 6/17).email subscription.