Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Jacob Hacker ’00PhD

Health policy guru Jacob Hacker ’00PhD has been dubbed the “father of the public option.” But it’s been an awfully tough labor, and he’s still waiting for that baby to be born. Hacker, the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale, has been all over the news media in recent months, pushing his idea—adopted by President Barack Obama in January—to offer government-run health insurance that would compete with private plans. (You could tell he had really made the big time when, like Obama, he got called a liar on the subject.) The House of Hacker suffered a defeat—make that two defeats—this week, when the Senate Finance Committee rejected two public-option amendments to committee chairman Max Baucus’s reform bill. Yet Hacker remains unwavering, telling the Boston Globe that for any proposal (like Baucus’s) that requires individuals to buy health coverage, “the public plan is the linchpin” to making it “both politically and morally acceptable.”

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