Jonathan Gruber, MIT
Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at MIT, who helped come up with the state of Massachusetts' Universal Health model, which was passed in 2006 and is now being implemented. He's since written a plan for the the Brookings Institution about taking the Massachusetts model national.
"I think Massachusetts was the critical first step," says Gruber. He calls that state's plan "a three-year experiment or sales job to show people we can make universal health coverage work in a way which works for all of the citizens."
Gruber is also involved in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's push for universal care in California.
"I think what happens at the state level depends a lot on what happens in California," says Gruber. "I think if California fails, that will slow state reform down until 2009. If CA succeeds, I think will be pretty hard for states to resist doing similar things."
Of course, any successful effort will require the support of big business, which currently provides 60% of the nation's healthcare.
"I think what it takes is to first of all make them feel like it's a win-win proposition, to not make them feel like we're going to rip up everything you know and start over," says Gruber. "But rather, 'Look we have some problems, we need to fix them, you'll benefit from us fixing them.'"