2014 Annual Conference:
Behavioral Economics, Law, and Health Policy

Saturday, May 03, 2014
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East ABC
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

We've increased our registration limit! Register here. Conference DescriptionRichard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein's book Nudge: Improving Decisions About…

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Enrollments Exceed Obama’s Target for Health Care Act

New York Times, April 17, 2014
by Mark Landler and Michael D. Shear

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced Thursday that eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, including what the White House said were a sufficient…

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Many states avoiding paying for glitchy health care sites:

Washington Times, April 15, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Co-Director)

“I think these will be handled as is most government contracting: threats of litigation or excluding the contractors, followed by real negotiations and agreements,” said I. Glenn Cohen, a health…

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Abortion Coverage Details Hard To Find On Marketplace Plans

Kaiser Health News, April 15, 2014
by Michelle Andrews

When it comes to coverage of abortion services in plans sold on the health insurance marketplaces, opponents and supporters of abortion rights are in complete agreement on one thing: Coverage…

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Report projects health care costs to dip slightly

Washington Post, April 14, 2014
by AP

WASHINGTON — The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance subsidies will cost a little less than previously thought, according to a new report released Monday. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that…

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Sebelius Resigns; Obama Names OMB Chief Burwell To Head HHS

Kaiser Health News, April 11, 2014
by Mary Agnes Cary

President Barack Obama Friday officially announced the resignation of Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, praising her efforts to implement the federal health overhaul and predicting that…

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EdX Course:

EdX, Course began April 7, 2014
by John E. McDonough, DrPH, MPA

This online course provides a basic and thorough understanding of the U.S. health care system focusing on access, quality of care, and costs.

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Doctors Shun Insurance, Offering Care for Cash

New York Times, April 10, 2014
by Alexa Ura

LAREDO, Tex. — For 12 hours a day, the waiting room at Dr. Gustavo Villarreal’s family practice is packed with patients who pay a flat $50 fee for the convenience…

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Obama Administration Retreats On Private Medicare Rate Cuts

Kaiser Health News, April 8, 2014
by Jay Hancock

Under intense, bipartisan political pressure, the Obama administration backed down for the second year in a row on proposed payment cuts for insurance companies that offer private plans to Medicare…

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Health Law Workshop: David Gamage

Monday, April 07, 2014 5:00 PM
Health Law Workshops
Hauser 105
1575 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Download David Gamage's paper, "The Evolution of Health Care Reform: Should Risk Adjustment Become the Heart of Obamacare?". David Gamage is…

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Newly Enrolled, but Not Counted by Insurance Exchanges

New York Times, April 1, 2014
by Katie Thomas

Millions of newly insured people are hiding in plain sight. They are the people who have bought new health insurance since the start of this year but have chosen for one reason…

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Burnt Out Primary Care Docs Are Voting With Their Feet

Kaiser Health News, April 1, 2014
by Roni Caryn Rabin

[...] Physician stress has always been a fact of life.  But anecdotal reports and studies suggest a significant increase in the level of discontent-especially among primary care doctors who serve…

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Dust Settles As First Enrollment Period Comes To A Close

Kaiser Health News, April 1, 2014

Though March 31 is increasingly viewed as a somewhat soft deadline, it's come and gone amidst last-day technical troubles. In its wake, lots of analysis and speculation about where the ultimate tally --…

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Obama Announces 6 Million Have Signed Up For Insurance

Kaiser Health News, March 27, 2014
by Mary Agnes Carey

More than 6 million people have signed up for health insurance through the health law’s state and federal online marketplaces, or exchanges, since Oct. 1, the administration announced Thursday. [...]

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Half Of Uninsured Not Planning On Getting Coverage, Poll Finds

Kaiser Health News, March 26, 2014
by Jordan Rau

With less than a week left for customers to apply for insurance through the health care marketplaces, a poll released Wednesday finds that half of the people still without health coverage intend…

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Q & A: Supreme Court Hears Cases on Contraception Rule

New York Times, March 25, 2014
by Adam Liptak

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in a pair of challenges to a part of President Obama’s health care law that requires many employers to provide insurance coverage…

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Few will use Obamacare hardship exemption, analysts say:

Washington Times, March 23, 2014
by Jacqueline Klimas, quoting Matthew J. B. Lawrence (Academic Fellow)

[...] “When you have a very vague term like this exemption 14, the devil could be in the details on how it is implemented,” Mr. Lawrence said. “But that is…

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States seek wiggle room on Obamacare deadline:

Washington Times, March 19, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting Matthew J. B. Lawrence (Academic Fellow)

[...] “The deadline is March 31,” a Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman said. But Matthew Lawrence, a fellow at Harvard Law School, said it’s no surprise the administration is talking tough now —…

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Everything You Need to Know about the Healthcare Contraception Mandate

Shape, March 17, 2014
by Cristina Goyanes, interview with Holly Lynch (Petrie-Flom Executive Director)

[...] Starting March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing religious disputes over the contraception mandate, which requires employer health insurance coverage of contraceptive methods (without deductibles or co-pays).…

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In Alabama, College Students Take On Challenge of Health Insurance Sign-Up

New York Times, March 12, 2014
by Michael Winerip

Students at the University of Alabama Honors College here are encouraged to do volunteer work in the community and on campus. For Marlan Golden, a senior, that has included being…

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Health Mandate Won’t Be Delayed, Sebelius Says

New York Times, March 12, 2014
by Robert Pear

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said Wednesday that the Obama administration would not extend the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance or delay…

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Was the Medicaid Expansion Coercive?

Routledge, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director)

In The Affordable Care Act Decision: Philosophical and Legal Implications, Fritz Allhoff and Mark Hall, eds. In this book chapter on the ACA decision, NFIB v. Sebelius, I focus on the Court's…

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Obama’s New Approach Takes a Humorous Turn

New York Times, March 11, 2014
by Michael D. Shear

[...] On Tuesday, Mr. Galifianakis welcomed President Obama to the comedy show that he has turned into an Internet cult favorite by making his guests feel awkward and uncomfortable. The interview…

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Health Law Cited as US Uninsured Rate Drops

ABC News, March 10, 2014
by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

The share of Americans without health insurance is dropping to the lowest levels since President Barack Obama took office, but sign-ups under his health care law lag among Hispanics —…

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Little-Known Health Act Fact:

New York Times, March 9, 2014
by Erica Goode

In a little-noticed outcome of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, jails and prisons around the country are beginning to sign up inmates for health insurance under the law, taking advantage…

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Actuaries In Denver Will Get First Peek At Obamacare’s Full Cost

NPR, March 7, 2014
by Jay Hancock

Now that medical insurers must accept all applicants no matter how sick, what will these new customers cost health plans? And how will their coverage costs affect insurance prices for…

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Changes To Health Law Rules Include Extra Month To Enroll In 2015

Kaiser Health News, March 6, 2014
by Mary Agnes Carey

The Obama administration on Wednesday released a broad set of regulatory changes to the health law that would give some consumers additional time to stay in plans that do not…

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As Full Disclosure Nears, Doctors’ Pay for Drug Talks Plummets

Pro Publica, March 3, 2014
by Charles Ornstein, Eric Sagara, and Ryann Grochowski Jones

Some of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies have slashed payments to health professionals for promotional speeches amid heightened public scrutiny of such spending, a new ProPublica analysis shows. Eli Lilly…

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Health Law’s Small Co-ops Have Had a Mixed Success So Far

New York Times, February 26, 2014
by Reed Abelson, Katie Thomas, and Jo Craven McGinty

The rented offices of HealthyCT, a new insurer in Connecticut, bustle with the energy of a start-up. The sales force takes pride in noting that HealthyCT is a truly local…

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Doctors’ Offices Get Put On Hold Trying to Find Out Who’s Insured

NPR, February 25, 2014
by Jenny Gold

Sheila Lawless manages a small rheumatology practice in Wichita Falls, Texas, about two hours outside of Dallas. She makes sure everything in the office runs smoothly – scheduling patients, collecting…

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Obama Administration Proposes 1.9% Cut In Medicare Advantage Payments

Kaiser Health News, February 24, 2014
by Mary Agnes Carey

An Obama administration announcement about payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans in 2015 has set off a dispute about how large – or small – the changes really are. Late…

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Court Rules Against Notre Dame in Contraception Case:

Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2014
by Louise Radnofsky and Brent Kendall

A federal appeals court Friday ruled against the University of Notre Dame in a legal proceeding claiming the Obama administration's contraception-coverage requirement is forcing it to violate its religious beliefs.…

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As Deadline Nears, State Insurance Exchanges Still A Mixed Bag

NPR, February 21, 2014
by Julie Rovner

With a bit more than a month left for people to sign up for health insurance plans set up under the Affordable Care Act, the federal website known as HealthCare.gov…

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Obama’s executive actions can backfire on Democrats if GOP takes the White House:

The Washington Times, February 16, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director)

[...] Although he is taking advantage of discretion built into the Affordable Care Act of 2010, those executive powers also would give “a future President Rand [Paul] or other ACA opponent room…

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Apprehensive, Many Doctors Shift to Jobs With Salaries

New York Times, February 13, 2014
by Elisabeth Rosenthal

American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals. Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are…

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Report: Nearly 3.3 Million Americans Have Enrolled in Private Obamacare Plans

Kaiser Health News, February 12, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

Nearly 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans since October through the online marketplaces created by the health law, with enrollment continuing to surge through January,…

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Obama Administration Again Delays Insurance Mandate For Some Smaller Employers

Kaiser Health News, February 10, 2014

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations.

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Health Care Law Projected to Cut the Labor Force

New York Times, February 4, 2014
by Annie Lowrey and Jonathan Weisman

A Congressional Budget Office analysis released Tuesday predicted that the Affordable Care Act would shrink the work force by the equivalent of more than two million full-time positions and recharged…

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Religious groups to back Obamacare contraceptive mandate:

Washington Post, February 4, 2014
by Tom Howell, Jr. quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch (Petrie-Flom Executive Director)

[...] In its filing, the AJC said the case presents a rare instance in which they see a clash between religious liberty and the equal rights of women. They said the government’s…

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Too good to be true?

NBC News, February 3, 2014
by Zac Bissonnette, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director)

[...] The ministries are not regulated for solvency, said I. Glenn Cohen, a professor at Harvard Law School and co-director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and…

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Method of Study Is Criticized in Group’s Health Policy Tests

New York Times, February 2, 2014
by Gina Kolata

The idea seemed transformative. The Affordable Care Act would fund a new research outfit evocatively named the Innovation Center to discover how to most effectively deliver health care, with $10…

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Joining GOP Trend, U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Urges Fix, Not Repeal, Of Obamacare

Kaiser Health News, January 31, 2014
by Eric Whitney

Some influential conservatives are now saying the health care law is too entrenched to repeal. Take the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the powerful business lobbying group. When the Affordable Care…

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Health Law Year in P/Review

Friday, January 31, 2014 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East B & C
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Watch Event Recordings

Video of this conference is now available at online! (See below for links to specific panels.) At our second Annual Health…

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Health Law Launch Frustrations Set Scene For State Of Union

Kaiser Health News, January 28, 2014

News outlets analyze the challenges and opportunities in the president's annual address to Congress while assessing his record on fulfilling past proposals. [...]

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Huckabee Criticizes Required Coverage of Birth Control

New York Times, January 24, 2014

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas minced no words on Thursday in criticizing requirements that health insurance pay for birth control. The reasoning behind the idea, he said, was that women “cannot…

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White House Health Care Adviser to Leave His Post

January 24, 2014, Kaiser Health News

White House coordinator for health reform Chris Jennings resigned after six months, citing personal reasons and family considerations. [...]

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Law’s Expanded Medicaid Coverage Brings a Surge in Sign-ups

New York Times, January 20, 2014
by Sabrina Tavernise

WELCH, W.Va. — Sharon Mills, a disabled nurse, long depended on other people’s kindness to manage her diabetes. She scrounged free samples from doctors’ offices, signed up for drug company…

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Rules for Equal Coverage by Employers Remain Elusive Under Health Law

New York Times, January 18, 2014
by Robert Pear

The Obama administration is delaying enforcement of another provision of the new health care law, one that prohibits employers from providing better health benefits to top executives than to other employees.…

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House passes bill requiring weekly health care numbers

USA Today, January 16, 2014
by AP

The House on Thursday backed a bill that would require the Obama administration to report weekly on how many Americans have signed up for health care coverage as Republicans maintain…

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Federal Judge Upholds Health Care Subsidies

New York Times, January 15, 2014
by Robert Pear

A federal judge rejected a legal challenge on Wednesday to a central part of President Obama’s health care law, ruling that millions of low- and moderate-income people could obtain health…

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