Study Estimates 10 Million Americans Gained Health Coverage

Kaiser Health News, July 24, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

About 10.3 million Americans gained health coverage this year, primarily as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to a study by the federal government and Harvard University, published Wednesday in…

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Federal Health Exchange Stays Busy After Open Enrollment Ends

NPR, July 23, 2014
by Charles Ornstein

For months, journalists and politicians fixated on the number of people signing up for health insurance through the federal exchange created as part of the Affordable Care Act. It turned…

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BREAKING — D.C. Circuit strikes down tax credits in federal exchanges

Washington Post, July 22, 2014
by Jonathan H. Adler

This morning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit released its much awaited opinion in Halbig v. Burwell.  In a 2-1 opinion, the Court held that the Internal Revenue…

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D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies:

Washington Times, July 22, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] To redress the potentially fatal blow to its signature law, the administration will likely seek an “en banc” hearing on the case by all the judges in the D.C. Circuit. That…

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D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies:

Washington Times, July 22, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] To redress the potentially fatal blow to its signature law, the administration will likely seek an “en banc” hearing on the case by all the judges in the D.C. Circuit. That…

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Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

NPR, July 16, 2014
by Alan Greenblatt

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday. Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed…

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After Hobby Lobby, ACA exceptions may become the rule

Reuters, July 15, 2014
by Interview with Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director)

Holly Fernandez Lynch analyzes the impact of the Supreme Court's recent decision, saying the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed by Congress, will shape the impact as much as the…

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Dozens Of Religious Groups Refuse To Sign Contraceptive Opt-Out

Kaiser Health News, July 14, 2014

The two-page form, designed to accommodate religious beliefs, is regarded as an untenable compromise by some religious employers, reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, GOP governors see little fallout from…

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Obscure Rule Restricts Health Law’s Expansion of Care for Addicts

New York Times, July 10, 2014
by Abby Goodnough

EAST HAZEL CREST, Ill. — On its surface, the Affordable Care Act seems like a boon for addiction treatment centers like the South Suburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse,…

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Conflicting Views Of Supreme Court’s Contraception Decision Cloud Other Cases

Kaiser Health News, July 8, 2014
by Julie Rovner

The Supreme Court’s decision last week that some for-profit corporations don’t have to comply with the contraceptive coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act may have raised more questions than…

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Complaint Says Insurance Plans Discriminate Against HIV Patients

NPR, July 8, 2014
by Michelle Andrews

Four Florida insurers allegedly discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS by structuring their prescription drug benefits so that patients are discouraged from enrolling, according to a complaint filed by health advocacy…

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Some Insurance Companies Ask Their Customers to Cross the Border for Care:

New Republic, July 7, 2014
by Adam Teicholz and I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director) and

Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen has co-authored a new piece in New Republic on the practice adopted by some insurance companies of sending clients across the border for less expensive care. From…

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When Religious Freedom Clashes with Access to Care:

NEJM, July 2, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director), Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director), Gregory Curfman

At the tail end of this year's Supreme Court term, religious freedom came into sharp conflict with the government's interest in providing affordable access to health care. In a consolidated…

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Hobby Lobby stunner:

Washington Times, June 30, 2014
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting Holly Fernandez Lynch (Executive Director)

[...] Holly Lynch, a health and ethics expert at Harvard Law School, said she was “not surprised in the least that contraceptives in particular were not covered directly in the…

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Summer Program in US Health Reform

Summer Program in US Health Reform
O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University

Deadline: July 21 - 25, 2014

Important Dates Regular Application Deadline: June 15 Program Details Program Fees Regular Attendees Middle/Low-income Countries: $1,825 ($3,150) High-income Countries: $2,500 ($4,485) Government and Academic Attendees (Current government officials, students, post-docs, and non-tenured faculty)  …

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‘Choosing not to choose’:

Harvard Law Today, June 18, 2014

Harvard Law Today featured Cass Sunstein's keynote address at the 2014 Petrie-Flom Center Annual Conference, "Behavioral Economics, Law, and Health Policy." Sunstein, who is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard…

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Survey: Most Buying On Insurance Exchanges Were Uninsured

Kaiser Health News, June 19, 2014
by Julie Appleby

Nearly six in 10 Americans who bought insurance for this year through the health law’s online marketplaces were previously uninsured—most for at least two years, according to a new survey that looks…

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Contraceptive Coverage Case Decison Still Pending

Kaiser Health News, June 16, 2014

The decision on the legal challenge to the health law's birth control mandate will be issued by the end of this month. Also yet to be released is the Supreme Court's opinion on abortion opponents' free-speech challenge to a Massachusetts…

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Once again, U.S. has most expensive, least effective health care system in survey

Washington Post, June 16, 2014
by Lenny Bernstein

A report released Monday by a respected think tank ranks the United States dead last in the quality of its health-care system when compared with 10 other western, industrialized nations, the same…

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Michigan To Reward Medicaid Enrollees Who Take ‘Personal Responsibility’

Kaiser Health News, June 11, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

Delayed by state lawmakers, Michigan did not expand Medicaid until the day after the federal online insurance exchange closed March 31 – a move advocates feared would undermine signups. Turns…

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Patrick airs $20m plan to combat opioid use:

Boston Globe, June 10, 2014
by Brian MacQuarrie

Governor Deval Patrick unveiled plans Tuesday to upgrade treatment for opioid addicts, expand insurance coverage, and coordinate with the other five New England governors to stem an epidemic that has…

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More Than 1.7 Million Consumers Still Wait For Medicaid Decisions

Kaiser Health News, June 9, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

While an unprecedented 6 million people have gained Medicaid coverage since September, mostly as a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than 1.7 million more are still waiting for…

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Under Health Law, States Serve As Testing Grounds For Innovation

Kaiser Health News, June 9, 2014

Media outlets report on a range of issues related to the measure's implementation, including how some states are finding opportunities in the overhaul to pursue their own health system changes. Also in the news, the…

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Judge Voids Expansion of Discount Drug Program

New York Times, June 8, 2014
by Robert Pear

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has struck down a new rule requiring drug companies to offer certain drugs at discounted prices, saying the Obama administration had no authority to issue…

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Why the New Obamacare Website Is Going to Work This Time

Wired, June 5, 2014
by Stephen Levy

The drama of the HealthCare.gov Ad Hoc team is now a modern tech fable: a small cadre of young geeks from Silicon Valley and President Obama’s election campaign parachute into…

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Data discrepancies found in roughly one in four applications for Obamacare

PBS News Hour, June 4, 2014
by Jaywon Choe

Roughly a quarter of Americans who signed up for private health insurance under President Obama’s health care law has inconsistent data in their applications, which could lead to them potentially…

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States Scramble To Pay Hefty Tab For Health Exchange Fixes

Kaiser Health News, June 4, 2014

According to The Wall Street Journal, five states -- Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada and Oregon -- will look to their own funds, remaining federal grants and new federal funding requests…

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GOP candidates show signs of retreat on full Obamacare repeal as midterms approach

Washington Post, May 30, 2014
by Juliet Eilperin and Robert Costa

Republican candidates have begun to retreat in recent weeks from their all-out assault on the Affordable Care Act in favor of a more piecemeal approach, suggesting they would preserve some aspects of the law…

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Safety Net Hospitals Already Seeing More Paying Patients — And Revenue

Kaiser Health News, May 27, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

At Seattle’s largest safety-net hospital, the proportion of uninsured patients fell from 12 percent last year to an unprecedented low of 2 percent this spring—a drop expected to boost Harborview…

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Too Early To Calculate Success Of ACA Marketplaces

Kaiser Health News, May 27, 2014
by Eric Whitney

Over $7 billion of taxpayer money went into creating the health law’s insurance marketplaces, and about 8 million people signed up. But some experts say it's actually still too early to declare these…

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I.R.S. Bars Employers From Dumping Workers Into Health Exchanges

New York Times, May 25, 2014
by Robert Pear

WASHINGTON — Many employers had thought they could shift health costs to the government by sending their employees to a health insurance exchange with a tax-free contribution of cash to…

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Hospitals Look to Health Law, Cutting Charity

New York Times, May 25, 2014
by Abby Goodnough

Hospital systems around the country have started scaling back financial assistance for lower- and middle-income people without health insurance, hoping to push them into signing up for coverage through the…

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GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags

NPR, May 22, 2014
by Julie Rovner

Last year, the Republican playbook for keeping control of the House of Representatives in 2014 and winning the Senate consisted of a fairly simple strategy: Run against Obamacare. But now…

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Study: Limited Competition Raised Obamacare Prices

Kaiser Health News, May 19, 2014
by Jay Hancock

Many insurers only dipped a toe into the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces for their first year. Cigna, one of the country’s largest insurers, offered 2014 plans to individuals in fewer…

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Poorer Health of Surgery Patients on Medicaid May Alter Law’s Bottom Line

New York Times, May 17, 2014
by Robert Pear

WASHINGTON — Surgery patients covered byMedicaid arrive at the hospital in worse health, experience more complications, stay longer and cost more than patients with private insurance, a new study has found.…

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Missouri Backs Criminal Checks for Health Insurance Advisers

Boston Globe, May 16, 2014
by David A. Lieb

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Despite a federal court order against their current law, Missouri legislators voted Thursday to toughen requirements even further for people seeking to work as insurance…

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Confirmation Path Appears Smooth For Obama Pick To Take The Helm At HHS

Kaiser Health News, May 15, 2014

Sylvia Mathews Burwell received a friendly reception from both sides of the aisle during her second confirmation hearing, during which she pledged to try to recoup any taxpayer funds that may…

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Health Law Requires Medicare To Cover Dementia Evaluation

Kaiser Health News, May 6, 2014
by Michelle Andrews

For the millions of seniors who worry that losing their keys may mean they’re losing their minds, the health law now requires Medicare to cover a screening for cognitive impairment…

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Mortality Drop Seen to Follow ’06 Health Law

New York Times, May 5, 2014
by Sabrina Tavernise

BOSTON — The death rate in Massachusetts dropped significantly after it adopted mandatory health care coverage in 2006, a study released Monday found, offering evidence that the country’s first experiment…

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VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE: 2014 Annual Conference:
Behavioral Economics, Law, and Health Policy

Saturday, May 03, 2014
Conferences
2013-2014
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East ABC
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Couldn't join us in person at Harvard Law School? Join the conversation on Twitter using #BELHP2014! We also liveblogged the full event at Bill…

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Newly Released Data Highlight Last-Minute Sign-Up Surge

Kaiser Health News, May 2, 2014

The Obama administration's final report on insurance enrollment under the health law offered the most complete picture so far regarding who signed up, the degree of state-by-state variation and what impact these numbers…

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Envisioning the End of Employer-Provided Health Plans

New York Times, May 1, 2014
by Neil Irwin

The days of Americans getting health insurance through their employers may be numbered — and the change could be just as profound as the shift of employers forcing employees to…

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Some Obamacare Enrollees Emboldened To Leave Jobs, Start Businesses

Kaiser Health News, April 29, 2014
by Stephanie O'Neill

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Until recently, Mike Smith, 64, worked 11 hours a day, Monday through Friday and then half a day on Saturday, as a district manager for a…

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Health Plans Scramble To Calculate 2015 Rates

Kaiser Health News, April 28, 2014
by Jay Hancock

With the results sure to affect politics as well as pocketbooks, health insurers are already preparing to raise rates next year for plans issued under the Affordable Care Act. But…

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Rural Hospitals Face Tough Choices On Computerized Records

Kaiser Health News, April 24, 2014
by Eric Whitney

RED LODGE, Mont. -- One of the biggest challenges American hospitals face right now is adopting electronic medical records systems. It’s costing tens of billions of dollars, eating up tons…

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Most States To Rely On Federal Website For 2015 Enrollment

Kaiser Health News, April 24, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

Only two of the 36 states that relied on the federal insurance exchange this year -- Idaho and New Mexico -- plan to set up their own online marketplaces in…

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Accountability in the ACO Structure:

Risk & Insurance, April 2014
by Katie Siegel

[...] As physician employers, ACOs “will need professional liability coverage for the errors of its professional care providers,” said Derek Jones, a principal and consulting actuary at Milliman. In fact,…

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Looking at Costs and Risks, Many Skip Health Insurance

New York Times, April 21, 2014
by Abby Goodnough

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Steve Huber, an affable salesman who is still paying off an unexpected medical bill, was not among the millions of Americans who signed up for health insurance…

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Health Care Spending’s Recent Surge Stirs Unease

New York Times, April 18, 2014
by Anne Lowrey

WASHINGTON — It’s back. For years, because of structural changes in the health care delivery system and the deep economic downturn, the health care “cost curve” — as economists and…

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