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Universal Coverage: Is “Medicare for All” the Answer?

Reception: 5-6 p.m.
Talk: 6-7 p.m.


The cost and availability of health care is one of the most critical issues facing the United States. “Medicare for All,” or a single-payer system, is one approach that embraced by numerous presidential candidates, Governor Gavin Newsom, and leaders in other states. Several Medicare-for-All bills are either pending or in development nationally and in California.


What does “Medicare for All” really mean, how would it be financed, and are there other ways to achieve universal health care? Join us for a discussion that will address these questions and more. Our panelists will explain the basics of a single-payer system, its pros and cons, and other strategies to achieve universal health care.


Panelists


Laurel Lucia, Director Health Care Program, UC Berkeley Labor Center


Laurel Lucia MPP ’05 is director of the Health Care Program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center, where she has worked since 2009. Her recent research has examined the uninsured in California and state options for achieving universal coverage, health insurance for California immigrants, health care affordability challenges and proposed solutions, and the health coverage and economic impacts of Affordable Care Act repeal on California. Previously, Laurel worked on issues affecting health care workers as a researcher/policy analyst for the Service Employees International Union.


Wendell Potter, author, journalist, and president of Wendell Potter Consulting


Wendell Potter is a New York Times-bestselling author, founder of the journalism nonprofit Tarbell.org, president of the Business Initiative for Health Policy and host of The Potter Report podcast. Wendell previously served as an executive for two of the country's largest health insurers, Humana and Cigna. In 2008, he left his job at Cigna and since then has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. health care system. He is the author of Deadly Spin, An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans; and Nation on the Take, How Big Money Corrupts Democracy and What We Can Do About It.


Stephen Shortell, Professor of the Graduate School and Dean Emeritus, UC Berkeley School of Public Health


Stephen M. Shortell PhD, MPH, MBA is the Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management Emeritus and Professor of the Graduate School at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and The UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. He co-leads the Center for Healthcare Organizational and Innovation Research and the Center for Lean Engagement and Research in Healthcare. From 2002 to 2013 he served as dean of the School of Public Health. A leading health care scholar, he has received numerous awards for his research examining the performance of integrated delivery systems; the organizational factors associated with quality and outcomes of care; and the factors associated with the adoption of evidence-based processes for treating patients with chronic illness.


Micah Weinberg, president, Bay Area Council Economic Institute


Micah Weinberg PhD is president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a think tank focused on the most critical economic and policy issues facing the nine-county Silicon Valley/San Francisco region. In this role, he manages a team of professional researchers who produce world class economic and policy analysis and insight. He serves on the boards or steering committees of the the California Stewardship Network, the homelessness-focused nonprofit Hamilton Families, Rise Together Bay Area, Covered California for Small Business, and the Greater Bay Area Redwood Area of the American Cancer Society​.


Moderator



Larry Levitt, Senior Vice President for Health Reform, Kaiser Family Foundation


Larry Levitt MPP, BA '84 is senior vice president for health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation and senior advisor to the president of the foundation. Among other duties, he is co-executive director of the Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance. He previously directed the foundation’s communications and online activities and its Changing Health Care Marketplace Project. Prior to joining the Kaiser Family Foundation, he served as a senior health policy advisor to the White House and Department of Health and Human Services, working on the development of President Clinton’s Health Security Act and other health policy initiatives.


This talk is part of the 2019 UC Berkeley School of Public Health Dean’s Speaker Series. It is co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.