Housing Equity Week in Review

Our weekly update of the latest news in housing law for health and equity, for the week of March 20-27, including one piece written by our own Abraham Gutman:

  • Philadelphia city council held a hearing to evaluate the impact of the evictions on the lives of Philadelphians. One solution of for the eviction crisis is extending the right to counsel to housing courts. We, at the Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research, believe that evidence-based legal solutions are always worth considering, via Huffington Post
  • At a time when large budget cuts are looming over affordable housing programs, an audit of the largest affordable housing funder in Washington D.C., found inefficiencies, via NextCity
  • Some warn that reducing corporate taxes would lead to reduce use of the Low Income Housing Tax Credits
  • The proposed budget cuts to HUD are still the main story in the housing world. In Chicago dozens of affordable housing advocates took to the street to demand protection of affordable housing programs.
  • According to FiveThirtyEight, suburbanization in America is increasing in a faster rate.

TODAY, 3/27 at 5 PM! Health Law Workshop with Kathryn Zeiler

March 27, 2017, 5-7 PM
Hauser Hall, Room 104

Harvard Law School, 1575 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Presentation: “Communication-And-Resolution Programs: The Numbers Don’t Add Up”

This paper is not available for download. To request a copy in preparation for the workshop, please contact Jennifer Minnich at jminnich at law.harvard.edu.

Kathryn Zeiler is Professor of Law and Nancy Barton Scholar at the BU School of Law. Prior to joining the BU faculty, Zeiler was Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center (2003–2015). She has held visiting professorships at Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, and Boston University School of Law. In Fall 2010 she was a Senior Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center.

Zeiler’s scholarship applies economic theory and empirical methods to the study of legal issues and research questions. Her main scholarly interests include the importation of experimental economics results and behavioral economics theories into legal scholarship, the impact of state legislative tort damages caps on the price of medical malpractice insurance premiums, the impacts of communication and resolution programs implemented by hospitals to resolve medical malpractice claims, and the role of medical malpractice insurers in patient safety.

Zeiler serves as a fellow and member of the board for the Society of Empirical Legal Studies (2015–present). She currently holds positions on the editorial board of the American Law and Economics Review and Behavioral Science and Policy. She is a member of the Max Planck Institute’s Scientific Review Board for Research on Collective Goods. She has served as a member of the board of directors of the American Law and Economics Association (2010–2012). She is a regular peer-reviewer for a number of economics journals and law and economics journals.

Her recent publications include “Against Endowment Theory: Experimental Economics and Legal Scholarship” (UCLA Law Review), “Do Damages Caps Reduce Medical Malpractice Insurance Premiums?: A Systematic Review of Estimates and the Methods Used to Produce Them” (Research Handbook on the Economics of Torts), “The Willingness to Pay-Willingness to Accept Gap, the “Endowment Effect,” Subject Misconceptions, and Experimental Procedures for Eliciting Valuations: Reply” (American Economic Review), “Cautions on the Use of Economics Experiments in Law” (Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics), and “Medical Malpractice Liability Crisis or Patient Compensation Crisis? (DePaul Law Review, Rising Stars Symposium).

No Seat at the Table: The Legal Status of Players at the NFL Scouting Combine

This post is part of our Blog Symposium “Applying the Americans with Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to the NFL Workplace.” Background on the symposium and links to other blog posts are here

By Michael McCann

In Evaluating NFL Player Health and Performance: Legal and Ethical Issues 165 U. Pa. L. Rev. 227 (2017), the authors (Jessica L. Roberts, I. Glenn Cohen, Christopher R. Deubert and Holly Fernandez Lynch) compellingly explain why the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act supply legal protections to football players at the NFL Scouting Combine (“Combine”). In this blog post, I stress the need for such protections in light of the unusual—and vulnerable—legal status of players at the Combine.

The Combine and its relationship to the NFL Draft

Held in late February and early March, the Combine is the annual scouting spectacle for NFL teams. Over seven days, NFL teams evaluate college football players who are eligible for the NFL Draft. The NFL Draft, of course, is the exclusive method of entry for players into the NFL: only players who are either drafted or who are exposed to NFL Draft and not selected are eligible to play in the NFL.

Held each April, the NFL Draft is ostensibly designed to promote parity in the NFL. For teams that fail to make the playoffs, draft order is based on inverse order of teams’ records. This means that the very worst team obtains the first overall pick and thus the chance to draft the best available player. Continue reading

Playing the Long Game: Epigenetics and Public Health

By Seán Finan

Good investing takes time, foresight and patience. You have to thoughtfully spend now for a big return in ten years. But when it comes to investments in public health, everybody wants to make a quick and easy buck. I’ve written before about the need for more emphasis on preventive care over “heroic medicine”: it costs less, it’s easier to administer and it leads to better outcomes. But fully realizing the potential of preventive care and public health initiatives takes more than vaccines and check-ups. The government could invest in an unlimited buffet of hospital examinations and laboratory tests for all, but if people can only afford food that leaves them obese and diabetic or if they live in neighborhoods where crack dens and meth labs outnumber the schools, the investment is not going to pay off. Addressing the social determinants of health has incredible potential to improve outcomes on a population level.

Efforts are already being made. The government aims for “Health in All Policies” by promoting holistic education programs for poor youths and funding better food in stores in neglected communities. Other initiatives focus on fighting food insecurity among families or homelessness among pre and post natal mothers. The topic was covered well in this article from the Kaiser Family Foundation. They break the social determinants of health into the broad categories of social, economic and environmental factors. Things like economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, education, food and social context play a massively underappreciated role in health outcomes. The article contains a graphic on the impact of different factors on the risk of premature death. Apparently, healthcare has the smallest impact at 10%. Individual behaviors carry the biggest single impact at 40%. The social and environmental factors that the article focuses on contribute 20%. The last factor was genetics, at 30%. As I was reading, I remembered seeing this article on epigenetics and it struck me that the separation of genetics from behavior and environmental factors might be a little artificial.

Continue reading