Jacob S. Hacker is Peter Strauss Family Assistant Professor at Yale University and Fellow at the New America Foundation. His work displays a keen understanding of U.S. social policy aimed at protecting the income and health security of American families. Recently, Hacker co-authored a piece with Mark Schlesinger (also a NASI member) in The American Prospect entitled “Good Medicine.” The article explores improving and expanding Medicare as key steps to universal health insurance coverage.
Hacker frequently writes on health policy issues. In addition to numerous academic articles and newspaper editorials, Hacker authored the proposal "Medicare Plus: Extending Health Coverage by Expanding Medicare" while on the advisory board of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Covering America project. He also co-authored the Century Foundation’s Medicare Tomorrow, the final report of the Foundation’s Task Force on Medicare Reform.
“Jacob is an outstanding example of the modern public intellectual — one who is equally comfortable writing for a general audience as for academics,” according to Mark Schlesinger. "His ability to integrate the insights from his academic studies into his public essays makes his writing on social insurance issues truly distinctive among young scholars."
Hacker has also written two books: "The Road to Nowhere,” which is an analysis of President Clinton’s health reform agenda; and the broader, "The Divided Welfare State," which discusses the history of public and private social benefit programs. He is currently finishing two books. The first (due out in 2005), "Off Center," explains why political elites are increasingly pursuing policies that are inconsistent with the preferences of average voters and the second (due out in 2006), "The Great Risk Shift," examines how government and the corporate sector have transferred economic risk onto U.S. families, increasing Americans’ financial insecurity.
“The Divided Welfare State” was based on Hacker’s 2000 dissertation, “Boundary Wars: The Political Struggle over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States.” The study won NASI’s John Heinz Dissertation Award, the Harold D. Lasswell Award from the American Political Science Association, and the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management Dissertation Award.