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More Than 300 Economists Declare Health Insurance for All Key to Economic Recovery
Date:6/16/2009

New Reports Detail How To Structure A "Play-Or-Pay" System; Shows That Employer Health Mandate Would Create Jobs

WASHINGTON, June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Economist Jonathan Gruber and health care experts Jacob Hacker and Ken Jacobs joined Institute for America's Future co-director Roger Hickey and researcher Phillip Cryan on a conference call today to discuss key provisions of President Obama's plan to overhaul the nation's health care system.

STATEMENT FROM ECONOMISTS: Jonathan Gruber, professor of economics at M.I.T., released a statement signed by 330 economists, declaring that health reform is vital to the nation's economic recovery. The economists used the statement to urge Congress to provide high-quality, affordable health care to rebuild our economy and restore our nation's prosperity.

"PLAY-OR-PAY" STRUCTURE REPORT: Jacob Hacker, co-director of the UC Berkeley School of Law Center on Health, Economic and Family Security, and Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, discussed a new paper about how to structure a "play-or-pay" health care requirement on employers. Their report finds that a shared responsibility approach can attract political support from a broad range of stakeholders, including important sectors of the business community and labor. Key design considerations include the relationship between employers and the employee pool, the structure of the employer requirement, the contribution levels and which workers and firms are covered.

"PLAY-OR-PAY" JOBS REPORT: Phillip Cryan of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, released his jobs analysis on the call. The report, sponsored by the Institute for America's Future and Economic Policy Institute, shows that concerns about significant job losses resulting from a "play-or-pay" policy for employers are unfounded. Most likely there will be significant job gains.

**NOTE: Electronic copies of both reports and the economists' statement at http://ourfuture.org/healthandtheeconomy.**


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SOURCE Institute for America's Future
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