Our Research in the Media

Making Health Care Affordable: A Proposed Public Option for California

A Virtual Public Discussion Panel hosted by Members of the Academy 

Tuesday, November 14, 4pm to 5:30pm online (via Zoom)

To help address the affordability of care, Professors Richard Scheffler and Stephen Shortell of the UC- Berkeley School of Public Health have developed and tested a Public Option plan for the state called Golden Choice. Their analysis shows how such a plan can be offered at lower premiums using the state’s integrated medical groups that are accountable for quality and the total cost of care. Further, their analysis will show an additional competitive effect of introducing such a plan. Representatives from advocacy and provider organizations will participate in a discussion panel. In the second half of the webinar attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. This topic is timely as the state’s new Office of Healthcare Affordability begins its deliberations on how to make healthcare more affordable.

Use the link to register for the Virtual Public Discussion Panel.

Click this link to find out more.

F.T.C. Sues Anesthesia Group Backed by Private-Equity Firm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against a doctors’ group that operates anesthesia practices, accusing them of engaging in anticompetitive practices with the support of a private-equity firm. The suit targets U.S. Anesthesia Partners and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a private-equity firm based in New York.

Read the full article here.

California can Lead the Nation with a Public Option for Health Insurance.

Richard Scheffler and Stephen Shortell argue that California is in the midst of a healthcare affordability crisis, with insurance costs growing faster than wages, particularly affecting the Black and Latino populations. They propose the introduction of a public option called “Golden Choice” in California, which would be based on capitated medical groups and could significantly reduce health insurance premiums.

Read the full article here.

KNX Los Angeles Radio Interview: Private Equity Firms taking over Medical Practices

KNX In Depth’s Charles Feldman and Rob Archer discuss a new study that finds private equity firms are gobbling up medical practices across the country, even owning more than half of all specialists in certain markets. Richard Scheffler is the study lead author and Distinguished Professor of Health Economics and Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

Listen to the full interview here.

New Report by AAI, UC Berkeley and Equitable Growth Calls Attention to Private Equity’s Voracious Acquisition of Physician Practices

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI), in collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare, and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth (Equitable Growth), announced the release of a new report on private equity ownership in healthcare.

Lead author on the report, Professor Richard Scheffler, Distinguished Professor of Health Economics and Public Policy, and Director of the Petris Center at UCB, noted “This report provides convincing evidence that incentives to put profits before patients have grown stronger with an increase in private equity ownership of physician practices. This will fundamentally change the way medicine is practiced.”

Read the full American Antitrust Institute report here.

Listen to the Personal Equity Report Cited in House Oversight Committee Hearing here.

UC Berkeley Public Health Researchers Presented “Golden Choice: A Proposed Public Option Plan to Increase Competition and Lower Health Insurance Premiums” In the State Capitol

Spearheaded by Richard Scheffler, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and Stephen Shortell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, the research team carried out their vision of going from pen to policy. The team shared findings about a potential public option plan for the state with state legislators, stakeholders, and press. This plan would lower healthcare costs while maintaining quality for Californians. With a prominent discussion panel moderated by the Deputy Cabinet Secretary and featuring various healthcare pioneers, insightful questions were answered, swaying doubts were quelled, and productive ideas were exchanged.

Read the full Golden Choice report here.

Read the Commonwealth Brief here.

Read the JAMA Health Forum article here.