Featured Scholarship

Isaac “Zack” Buck

The Cost of High Prices:  Embedding an Ethic of Expense into the Standard of Care, 58 Boston College Law Review 101 (2017).

In the midst of rapid and radical change of America’s health care system, the country’s crown jewel public health insurance program, Medicare, faces an intensifying cost crisis due to a past of uncontrolled prices and a future of booming enrollment. A cost challenge garnering particular media attention is pharmaceutical drug pricing for Medicare Part B. Historically, congressional action has hamstrung Medicare’s ability to limit costs, and as a result, the program is increasingly forced to pass on drug costs—through copays and coinsurance—to its elderly beneficiaries. Public outrage has followed recent stories of pharmaceutical companies seeking to increase their prices, and policymakers have called for increased regulation. Nevertheless, there may be better solutions to Medicare’s pharmaceutical drug cost crisis. Recognition of “financial toxicity”—the effect of a pharmaceutical drug’s price on the mortality of the patient undergoing treatment—provides a potential new foothold for health care regulation.

Eric Franklin Amarante

The Perils of Philanthrocapitalism, 78 Maryland Law Review (forthcoming 2018).

Recent trend of philanthropists conducting charity through for-profit vehicles effectively bypasses the restrictions placed upon private foundations. This article discusses each of the traditional critiques of philanthropy and explores how they are exacerbated when philanthropic efforts are shifted to LLCs. Amarante found that philanthropy conducted through LLCs will undoubtedly be less democratic, more amateuristic, and more paternalistic than philanthropy conducted through private foundations. Amarante offers thoughts concerning solutions to the problem, including the adjustment of incentives for private foundations and LLCs, imposing a regulatory regime over philanthropic activity, and extending existing licensing regimes to apply to certain philanthropic activity.

 

Bradley A. Areheart

The Future of Genetic Privacy, 128 Yale Law Journal (forthcoming 2019) (with Jessica Roberts).

How should we measure a law’s success? Congress frequently outlines its reasons for enacting legislation. But what if a statute fails to accomplish its articulated purpose but serves another—more important—end? The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) has faced significant criticism since passing in 2008. Commentators have dismissed the law as ill-conceived, unnecessary, and ineffective. However, on GINA’s ten-year anniversary, we argue that while GINA has failed to fulfill its purpose of improving attitudes toward genetic testing, it has achieved unanticipated success as an employee privacy statute. In the era of big data, protections for employee privacy are more pressing than protections against genetic discrimination. Instead of failed legislation, GINA is a blueprint for future employment laws.