AGENDA NOW AVAILABLE: 2015 Annual Conference
Law, Religion, and Health in America

Saturday, May 09, 2015
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East BC
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Registration is now available online! Conference DescriptionReligion and medicine have historically gone hand in hand, but increasingly have come into…

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Health Law Workshop: Rachel Sachs

Monday, April 13, 2015 5:00 PM
Health Law Workshops
Griswold Hall, Room 110
1525 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Presentation Title: "Prescription Drug Reimbursement as Innovation Incentive" Rachel Sachs is an Academic Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center. She earned her…

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King v. Burwell and the Future of the Affordable Care Act

Wednesday, April 01, 2015 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East B
Harvard Law School, 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

This Term, in King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court will consider whether the Affordable Care Act permits the government to extend…

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RESCHEDULED: Gender (Re)assignment:
Legal, Ethical, and Conceptual Issues

Monday, March 09, 2015 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Pound Hall, 102
Harvard Law School, 1563 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Trans and intersex individuals face a series of legal, medical, and social challenges.  This panel explores these overlapping issues, including:…

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Opening shots fired in Obamacare Supreme Court battle

The Washington Times, March 3, 2015
by Tom Howell Jr., quoting Matthew Lawrence (Academic Fellow)

From the article: Congressman Paul Ryan and other influential Republicans sketched out plans Tuesday for how they'd deal with a Supreme Court ruling that cancels Obamacare's subsidies in many of…

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Health Law Arguments Offer Few Clues About Supreme Court Decision

Kaiser Health News, March 4, 2015
by Julie Rovner

For the second time in three years, the federal Affordable Care Act went before the Supreme Court Wednesday. And before a packed courtroom, a divided group of justices mostly picked…

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Over 1,100 Health Data Breaches, but Few Fines

ProPublica, February 27, 2015
by Sisi Wei and Charles Ornstein

Since October 2009, health care organizations and their business partners have reported 1,142 large-scale data breaches, each affecting at least 500 people, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human…

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Flood of Briefs on the Health Care Law’s Subsidies Hits the Supreme Court

New York Times, February 21, 2015
by Robert Pear

WASHINGTON — Liberal groups are emphasizing states’ rights, a theme calculated to appeal to conservative Supreme Court justices. The insurance industry, once a foe, has come to the aid of President Obama. Conservatives…

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Medicaid Expansion Plans Falter In Wyoming, Kansas

Kaiser Health News, February 23, 2015

KHN Morning Briefing: Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations. A proposal to accept federal money to expand the health program in Wyoming dies in the state House…

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Incorrect tax forms sent to 800,000 Obamacare enrollees:

Al Jazeera America, February 20, 2015

The Obama administration said on Friday that 800,000 people who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act received incorrect tax forms and should wait to receive new ones before filing their…

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Medical Tourism, Access to Health Care, and Global Justice

Health Law & Human Rights, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2015
by I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

Abstract: Medical tourism – the travel of patients from one (the “home”) country to another (the “destination”) country for medical treatment – represents a growing business. A number of authors have raised…

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Contrived Threats v. Uncontrived Warnings:

by Einer Elhauge (Founding Faculty Director)

Abstract: Inducing agreement to a contract or condition by using threats to engage in otherwise lawful action is sometimes lawful, but sometimes unlawful, under the doctrines of contractual duress, unconstitutional…

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The Black Market For Stolen Health Care Data

NPR, February 13, 2015
by Aarti Shahani

[...] Security experts say health data is showing up in the black market more and more. While prices vary, this data is more expensive than stolen credit card numbers which, they say,…

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Supreme Court Health Law Decision Could Have High Costs For Consumers, Hospitals

Kaiser Health News, February 13, 2015

KHN Morning Briefing: Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The high court's decision could result in millions of people losing access to financial assistance for health insurance,…

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Questions Continue About Plaintiffs In Pending Supreme Court Health Law Challenge

Kaiser Health News, February 12, 2015

KHN Morning Briefing: Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The questions have to do with whether plaintiffs in King. v. Burwell have standing in the lawsuit and…

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As Health Incentives Rise, Many Get Paid To Work Out And Eat Kale

WBUR (NPR), February 9, 2015
by Martha Bebinger

Laura Smith scans a wall of pasta sauce jars at a Shaw’s in Waltham, and reaches for her favorite. “It looks like it would be fantastic for you,” Smith says,…

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Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review collaborative blogging with Health Affairs

Petrie-Flom, February 5, 2015

The Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review was a big success!  Video will be posted on our website shortly, but our presenters will be posting on their respective topics…

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Millions of Anthem Customers Targeted in Cyberattack

New York Times, February 5, 2015
by Reed Abelson and Matthew Goldstein

Anthem, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, said late Wednesday that the personal information of tens of millions of its customers and employees, including its chief executive, was the…

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Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review

Friday, January 30, 2015 7:45 AM - 5:00 PM
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East AB
1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Couldn't make it in person? Check out the individual sessions in the videos linked above! The Third Annual Health Law…

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Dying to Be Free:

HuffPost, January 28, 2015
by Jason Cherkis

[...] At Recovery Works, Patrick’s former treatment facility, his name and photo were added to a memory wall in a common room — another fatal overdose in a system full…

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Hatch op-ed being used to defend Obamacare in Supreme Court case

Washington Times, January 29, 2015
by Tom Howell Jr.

[...] In cases like these, it is fairly common for interested parties to “use whatever they can to flavor their arguments in the briefs,” said I. Glenn Cohen, a health…

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In State-Of-The-Union Speech, Obama Pledges To Veto Efforts To Undo The Health Law

Kaiser Health News, January 21, 2015

KHN Morning Briefing: Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations. News outlets described President Barack Obama as confident and defiant as he laid out an agenda for his…

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Tax Preparers Get Ready To Be Bearers Of Bad News About Health Law

NPR, January 21, 2015
by Jeff Cohen and April Dembosky

Are you thinking about tax day yet? Your friendly neighborhood tax preparer is. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen declared this tax season one of the most complicated ever, partly because this…

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Health Premiums Rise More Slowly, but Workers Shoulder More of Cost

New York Times, January 8, 2015
by Tara Siegel Bernard

[...] Although the rise in premiums has slowed since passage of the Affordable Care Act, workers who receive health insurance through their employers are shouldering more health care expenses at a time…

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3 States Counter Obama’s Proposal For Medicaid Expansion

NPR, January 6, 2015
by Eric Whitney

States have a year to get full funding for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. The governors of Utah, Wyoming and Montana are trying to get the money, but their legislators may…

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Health Care Fixes Backed by Harvard’s Experts Now Roil Its Faculty

New York Times, January 5, 2015
by Robert Pear

Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard…

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Interview with Faculty Director I. Glenn Cohen about “Patients with Passports”:

Jefferson Public Radio (Oregon), January 5, 2015
by Geoffrey Riley and Charlotte Duren

If your doctor won't recommend a medical procedure you want, you can go to another doctor.  But would you travel to another country for the procedure?  And how about if…

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Group Sues Aetna, Claiming Discrimination Against H.I.V. Patients

New York Times, December 22, 2014
by Katie Thomas

A consumer group has sued the health insurer Aetna, claiming that it discriminated against patients with H.I.V. when it required them to obtain medications exclusively through its own mail-order pharmacy. The lawsuit, filed…

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Public Easily Swayed On Attitudes About Health Law, Poll Finds

Kaiser Health News, December 18, 2014
by Julie Rovner

Just days before the requirement for most large employers to provide health insurance takes effect, a new poll finds the public easily swayed over arguments for and against the policy.…

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Even With Coverage Expansion, Access To Mental Health Services Poses Challenges

Kaiser Health News, December 18, 2014
by Lisa Gillespie

Even though more Americans have access to health insurance because of the health law, getting access to mental health services can still be challenging. A new report concludes that despite the 2008…

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Managed Care Plans Make Progress In Erasing Racial Disparities

NPR, December 17, 2014
by Lisa Aliferis

Years of efforts to reduce the racial disparities in health care have so far failed to eliminate them. But progress is being made in the western United States, due largely…

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Small Businesses Drop Coverage As Health Law Offers Alternatives

Kaiser Health News, December 15, 2014
by Jay Hancock

For two decades Atlanta restaurant owner Jim Dunn offered a group health plan to his managers and helped pay for it. That ended Dec. 1, after the Affordable Care Act…

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Spending Bill Approved By Congress Includes Health Policy Provisions

Kaiser Health News, December 15, 2015

KHN Morning Briefing: Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

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Children’s Health Program Faces Cloudy Future Under ACA

Pew Charitable Trusts, December 4, 2014
by Christine Vestal

The Children’s Health Insurance Program got a big boost under the Affordable Care Act, which called for an increase in federal funding for the program and required states to maintain…

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Gov. Jerry Brown Considering Expanding Medi-Cal to Immigrants

Los Angeles Times, December 3, 2014
by Phil Willon

Gov. Jerry Brown is considering expanding state-funded Medi-Cal coverage to residents shielded from deportation under President Obama’s new immigration policies. Nancy McFadden, the governor’s top policy aide, said that possibility…

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No faith in health reform:

Crain's: New York Business, November 23, 2014
by Caroline Lewis, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] Under the health-care-sharing ministry model, before coverage kicks in, a household pays a monthly fee that "is matched with another's eligible medical bills," according to Christian Care Ministry's website,…

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Law Professor Discusses Medical Tourism

Harvard Crimson, November 20, 2014
by Katherine H. Scott, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

When most people hear the word “tourism,” they immediately think of flocking to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean or exploring museums in a European city. For Harvard Law School…

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They Paid How Much? How Negotiated Deals Hide Health Care’s Cost

NPR, November 15, 2014
by Sammy Mack

Every hospital has its own master list of charges for different services. Those charges are different from hospital to hospital. But insurance companies don't pay those listed charges. The listed charges are almost…

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Cost of Coverage Under Affordable Care Act to Increase in 2015

New York Times, November 14, 2014
by Robert Pear, Reed Abelson, and Agustin Armendariz

The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as…

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The Selling of Obamacare 2.0

Politico, November 13, 2014
by Joanne Kenen

[...] The second year of Obamacare enrollment starts Saturday, and the administration is launching a much more precise strategy that uses targeted digital ads, aims at specific demographics and leverages…

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Health Law Workshop: Leemore Dafny

Monday, November 10, 2014 5:00 PM
Health Law Workshops
Griswold Hall, Room 110
1525 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Download the Presentation Topic Paper: "More Insurers Lower Premiums: Evidence from Initial Pricing in the Health Insurance Marketplaces" (co-authors, Jonathan Gruber…

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Doctors Cash In on Drug Tests for Seniors, and Medicare Pays the Bill

Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2014
by Christopher Weaver and Anna Wilde Matthews

Doctors are testing seniors for drugs such as heroin, cocaine and “angel dust” at soaring rates, and Medicare is paying the bill. It is a roundabout result of the war…

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Shortage of Medicaid Doctors? Not if You Ask Patients

New York Times, November 10, 2014
by Austin Frakt

One longstanding concern about Medicaid is that too few doctors will accept it, because it tends to pay providers less generously than private plans do. This concern shows up in news articles about…

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How Much Is That MRI, Really? Massachusetts Shines A Light

Kaiser Health News, November 6, 2014
by Martha Bebinger

[...] Websites that mine such data are springing up to fill the void, revealing price tags on everything from an office visit to a cesarean section. But thanks to a law enacted…

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Employers Can’t Skip Insurance Coverage For Hospitalization

NPR, November 5, 2014
by Jay Hancock

Closing what many see as a loophole that could trap millions of people in sub-standard insurance, the Obama administration said Tuesday that large-employer medical plans lacking hospital coverage will not…

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Home Health Workers Struggle For Better Pay And Health Insurance

Kaiser Health News, November 3, 2014
by Sarah Jane Tribble

[...] Home care workers are mostly women. More than half are women of color, and 1 in 5 are single mothers. A recent analysis by the Brookings Institution found that while the…

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Who Would Have Health Insurance if Medicaid Expansion Weren’t Optional

New York Times, November 3, 2014
by Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act — its expansion of Medicaid to low-income people around the country — must be optional for…

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Defects Found Before Debut of Health Insurance Site for Small Businesses

New York Times, November 1, 2014
by Robert Pear

The Obama administration has discovered a number of defects in the online marketplace that will offer health insurance to millions of small-business employees, but federal officials said the problems could probably be…

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Obamacare May Mean High Drug Costs For Floridians With HIV

Miami Herald, October 31, 2014
by Nicholas Nehamas

[...] Last spring, two nonprofit groups filed a federal civil rights complaint alleging that some Florida insurers were discriminating against people with HIV by charging “inordinately high” rates for HIV…

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Is the Affordable Care Act Working?

New York Times, October 27, 2014

At its most basic level, the Affordable Care Act was intended to reduce the number of Americans without health insurance. Measured against that goal, it has made considerable progress. A…

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