Insurance companies may have found a way to skirt one of Obamacare’s most popular promises: equal access to insurance coverage for patients with preexisting conditions…”Insurance companies have a long history of undertaking practices designed to restrict [high-risk pools]—through preexisting-protection preclusions, and higher premiums,” said Robert Greenwald, director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School. “All those options are now off the table clearly and explicitly. So what we’re seeing instead are other practices—lack of transparency, failing to cover other medications, refusing to accept third-party payments, or the tiering of medicines.”
…But how can schools attract and retain good principals? One education-policy think tank suggests that part of the answer may be making the role more like an executive and giving each principal a $100,000 salary raise…But while there’s certainly a “you-get-what-you pay-for” aspect to any profession, educators don’t necessarily correspond neatly to executives. Generally, bonuses work, so long as they don’t cause principals to focus on certain criteria at the expense of their job as a whole, according to Jesse Fried, professor of law at Harvard and co-author of Pay without Performance: The Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation. “People going into teaching are obviously not motivated solely by the prospect of financial gain,” he says. “[But] if society substantially underpays principals, many good people will not seek these jobs or stay in them.”
An Illinois healthcare worker’s legal challenge of mandatory union dues from public employees reaches a climax on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court is due to rule in the case at the final session of its nine-month term. If the justices agree with the sweeping argument made by home healthcare worker Pamela Harris that compulsory union dues are forced association and speech prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, it would essentially establish a national right-to-work law and deliver a blow to public employee unions. Harvard Law School professor Benjamin Sachs said that if the perception holds that the Supreme Court saves blockbuster opinions for the end, it will mean a union loss. “If the union wins, it means the Supreme Court is affirming longstanding precedent. That is less of a ‘blockbuster’ kind of opinion than overturning longstanding precedent,” Sachs said.
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Class-action securities litigation survived today — and the big news is that it was saved not just by swing voting Justice Anthony Kennedy, but also by Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts wrote the opinion for the court affirming the presumption that, if you bought stock in a reasonably well functioning market, you relied on material information that the market knew. The decision showed once again the realism that has cost Roberts the admiration of hard-core conservatives ever since his pragmatist treachery in upholding the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act case.
An op-ed by Cass R. Sunstein. Consider this hypothesis about modern presidential elections: Whenever American voters elect a new president, they choose someone who is, along a critical dimension, the antithesis of the incumbent. The Incumbent Antithesis hypothesis, as I’ll call it, fits recent history, and it may be correct. If so, it suggests a real challenge for the next Democratic nominee, even if it is Hillary Clinton — perhaps especially if it is.
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Perhaps, like me, you trust Mormon missionaries and enjoy chatting with them even if you already have your own religion. Even so, if you happen to see one with his hand in your mailbox, you should probably tell someone. Kevin Loughrin used phony LDS missionary cover to steal checks from boxes all over Salt Lake City. He then altered the checks, used them to buy stuff at Target, and later returned the goods for cash. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that he was guilty of federal bank fraud.
Earlier this month, digital rights activist and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig launched Mayday PAC, a super political action committee aimed at reforming U.S. campaign finance laws. To date, the Super PAC has raised more than $1.2 million in pledges from 17,500 people. Through Mayday, Lessig hopes to turn the mechanism of corporate influence in politics against itself. “If we are effective,” he says, “we will reduce the power of money.”
Several Silicon Valley billionaires, many of them startup veterans, are getting behind an effort to … reduce the influence of billionaires. The group, spurred into action by digital rights activist and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, is funding a Super PAC, or political action committee, designed to obviate the need for Super PACs. “We are a crowdfunded SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs,” reads the Super PAC’s web site. “Ironic? Yes. Embrace the irony.”
The mission is simple, if not counterintuitive: Design a super PAC to destroy all super PACs, huge political action committees that allow for unlimited contributions from people, corporations, associations, and unions. Mayday PAC was launched recently by Harvard Law School professor, author, and activist Lawrence Lessig, and, according to its website, is “a crowdfunded, kickedstarted super PAC to end all super PACs.”
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died 20 years ago today by the Jewish calendar, was easily the most important rabbi of the second half of the 20th century in the U.S. At his death, his legacy was uncertain: He left no successor, and his followers, the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidim, found themselves locked in a profound internal dispute about whether the man they expected to be revealed as the messiah had in fact died with the world unredeemed.