Thanks for a Great Symposium!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our annual Symposium, and a special thanks to Colin Ross, Kellen Wittkop, and the Events Committee for putting the Symposium on! The Symposium was a phenomenal success in creating a great campus dialogue about guns in America.  The Symposium featured national experts and advocates from multiple gun policy camps, including David Kopel from the University of Denver School of Law, Professor Joseph Blocher from Duke University School of Law, Garry McCarthy from the Chicago Police Department Superintendent, and Sandra and Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter was a victim of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado theater shooting.

Watch the first panel discussion “Grappling with Crime and Mass Shootings in Today’s Gun Landscape” here (open in Internet Explorer only)

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Why Price Transparency Cannot Cure American Healthcare

by Jonathan Klein, JD16

“Price transparency” is a buzz-phrase one tends to hear a lot in discussions over healthcare reform. Price transparency laws, which require covered health care providers to disclose to consumers cost estimates for health care services, are attractive to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and it’s easy to see why. They ostensibly empower consumers by making more pricing information available to them. In theory, consumers can then use this information to shop around, ultimately saving money both at both the individual and systemic levels. As Nino Monea, Class of 2017, noted, greater price transparency will probably generate at least some savings for individuals and the healthcare system as a whole. In this article, I explore the situations in which price transparency is most likely to reduce health care costs, and suggest ways to expand the impact of transparency mandates on the cost of health care. Continue reading Why Price Transparency Cannot Cure American Healthcare

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Saving the Affordable Care Act if the King v. Burwell Challenge Succeeds

Freilich Jones, JD16

In this essay, I will assume that it is the day after the Supreme Court’s decision in the upcoming case of King v. Burwell, the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, and will further assume that the Supreme Court has found for the plaintiffs in a decision roughly along the lines of that handed down by the DC Circuit panel in Halbig v. Burwell. I will propose and discuss a method that the Obama Administration could use to ensure that the ACA continues to function as intended even after such a ruling, or that the Obama Administration could implement in advance of such a ruling as a means of rendering the King challenge substantively moot. Those familiar with King may wish to skip the “Background” section of this essay, and move directly to the section entitled “Goals and Constraints”. Continue reading Saving the Affordable Care Act if the King v. Burwell Challenge Succeeds

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Recap of JOL Midterm Election Panel

On Monday, November 10, the Journal on Legislation hosted Professor Steve Ansolabehere (a Harvard government professor who consulted this year with CBS News on its election night coverage specializes in electoral politics, public opinion, and media) and Professor Elaine Kamarck (a Kennedy School professor and former White House senior staffer who created the National Performance Review, the largest government reform effort in the last half of the twentieth century, focuses on government efficiency and policy implementation). Moderated by JOL Membership Development Co-Chair Will Burgess, the panel discussed implications from the previous week’s elections and the political climate going forward to 2016. Here’s a quick recap of some of the panelist’s insights: Continue reading Recap of JOL Midterm Election Panel

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Competitive Ideas for Reducing Healthcare Costs

Jeremy Salinger, Class of 2017

I. Introduction

Nino Monea, Class of 2017, recently proposed that making price information for medical care available to consumers online would increase the transparency in healthcare shopping, which in turn would lead to greater competition among healthcare providers and lower costs to consumers. Mr. Monea’s analysis focused on the relationship between healthcare providers (hospitals, doctors, etc.) and consumers (you and me), but this is only one of three relationships in the healthcare industry where increasing competition can lead to price reductions. In addition to competition between providers for consumers, proposals to encourage competition must also consider competition between payers (insurance companies) for consumers and competition between providers for payers. Continue reading Competitive Ideas for Reducing Healthcare Costs

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JOL Co-Hosts Election Night Party at HLS

On this past Election Day, November 4th, hundreds of members of the Harvard Community attended the HLS Election Day party and issue discussion. The event hosted by the Journal on Legislation, Harvard Law School Democrats, and Harvard Law Republicans obtained overwhelming bipartisan support and attendance.

The event commenced with a key announcement early in the seven o’clock hour that Republican Senator McConnell achieved reelection in Kentucky. With this reelection, Sen. McConnell may very likely become Senate Majority Leader, as the Republican Party would ultimately claim a majority in the Senate as the night ensued and results were tabulated. Continue reading JOL Co-Hosts Election Night Party at HLS

Sen. Snowe Speak with Dean Minow About Why Congress Isn’t Working

On October 30, Harvard Law School’s Dean Minow hosted Senator Olympia Snowe and Jason Grumet, Director of Bipartisan Policy Center. Held just a few days before the Mid-term elections, the talk focused on bipartisanship in Congress and why it isn’t working.

The talk opened up with a video on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform, which put together members from both sides of the aisle in order to produce a “bipartisan blueprint” for strengthening our democracy. Proposals included implementing bipartisan redistricting commissions to end state gerrymandering, electoral reforms such as voter registration and a single day for primaries, campaign finance reforms such as improved transparency and disclosures, and congressional reforms such as ending filibuster abuse and extending members’ work week through Friday. Continue reading Sen. Snowe Speak with Dean Minow About Why Congress Isn’t Working

Former RNC Chairman Bemoans the Demise of Bipartisanship

On Monday, October 27, Former RNC Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf came to Harvard Law School to discuss bipartisanship in Congress over the course of the past three decades: “Back in the 80s, a very partisan time, things got done. Washington for the last eight or nine years? Nothing get’s done…and there are some interesting reasons why.” Continue reading Former RNC Chairman Bemoans the Demise of Bipartisanship