New article looks at the rise and fall of Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board

ddjhppl_42_3“Technocratic Dreams, Political Realities: The Rise and Demise of Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board,” an article by Jonathan Oberlander and Steven B. Spivack in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (volume 43, issue 3), offers a groundbreaking, in-depth look at the troubled history of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), enacted as part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and repealed in February 2018 when President Donald Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

This article addresses technocracy and healthcare through IPAB, a board of healthcare experts hailed for its innovation and designed to formulate Medicare policy recommendations based on evidence and reason rather than politics. Authors Oberlander and Spivack explore why Congress initially enacted IPAB, how we understand its broad appeal to the health policy community, and why IPAB failed to live up to its original hype and remained in political purgatory, paralyzed by controversy and partisanship.

Most health policy experts supported IPAB. The board was an ambitious way to combat the influence of interest groups and the health care industry on Medicare policy. It was also seen as an antidote to legislative inertia and Congress’s inability to manage Medicare. Experts, as well as some members of Congress, agreed that lawmakers could not make difficult decisions about Medicare and envisioned the board as an instrument of health services research and congressional self control. After the board’s establishment, industry groups attacked it, while many Republicans and some Democrats criticized IPAB and supported its repeal. Instead of realizing its aspirations, the board was mired in irrelevance. Prior to its repeal, IPAB existed as a shell under a presidential administration opposed to its existence.

“IPAB’s brief, troubled history offers a cautionary tale about the role of evidence, expertise, and independent panels in US health policy making,” Oberlander and Spivack write. “IPAB’s establishment reflected good intentions: to restructure Medicare governance so that program policy making was driven more by evidence and less by interest group pressures; to compel policy makers to consider and ultimately make difficult choices in Medicare reform; to prevent Congress from micromanaging and mismanaging Medicare; to ensure that, if Congress did not act, steps were still taken to restrain Medicare spending; and to create safeguards against excessive spending. Yet the aspirations to rationalize Medicare through IPAB have floundered against political realities.”

For more information regarding the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, please visit

Read the full article here.

Article Published in Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law Addresses Informed Consent

A recent study published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, “Informed or Misinformed Consent? Abortion Policy in the United States,” by Cynthia R. Daniels, Janna Ferguson, Grace Howard, and Amanda Roberti, found that women considering abortions receive medically inaccurate information nearly one third of the time in states that require doctors to provide informed consent materials to their patients.

Since 2010, the United States has witnessed a dramatic expansion of state-based restrictions on abortion. The most common of these are informed consent statutes, which require that a woman seeking an abortion receive a state-authored informational packet before the abortion procedure can be performed.

The Rutgers study team defined medical accuracy as information that was both “truthful and nonmisleading,” constitutional standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania et al. v. Robert P. Casey et al. in 1992. “Our findings suggest these laws may produce ‘misinformed consent’ and may require the court to rethink the constitutionality of abortion-related informed consent laws as a whole,” Cynthia Daniels, lead author and head of the Informed Consent Project, concluded.

Read the article here. For more information, contact Cynthia Daniels.

The Evolution of LGBT Rights in India

978-0-8223-6043-8Today we’re pleased to present a post by Jyoti Puri, Professor of Sociology at Simmons College, whose forthcoming book Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle over the Antisodomy Law in India (out March 25th, 2016) uses the example of the recent efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in India to show how the regulation of sexuality is fundamentally tied to the creation and enduring existence of the Indian state. Here, she responds to a recent article on LGBT rights in India posted in The New York Times.

Raghu Karnad’s recent account does a fine job providing insight into legislative efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in India, but it is missing a critique of the state as the cornerstone of such reform. When Naz Foundation (India) Trust petitioned the Delhi High Court in 2001 to modify the antisodomy law, it was envisioned as the first step toward securing rights for same-sex sexualities. Although this legal campaign was little known at the time, once the government opposed the Naz Foundation writ in 2003, individuals and groups from around the country rallied around the endeavor to decriminalize homosexuality. As a result, overturning the antisodomy law became the lightning rod of aspirations for sexual justice and the emphasis came to rest on the state.

Over the years, much changed—not only did the Supreme Court overrule the Delhi High Court’s historic ruling decriminalizing homosexuality, but also the government went from opposing decriminalization to supporting it. Yet, pivotal to understanding these differences and reversals is the matter of whether the state ought to continue to regulate homosexuality by criminalizing it. Indeed, while there are ideological differences among state officials, elected officials, party representatives, and such, also referenced in Karnad’s article, they are an alibi for the question of the state’s purview over sexuality. Insofar as state institutions are expected to administer on behalf of public interests, the underlying question is about the role of the state.

Seen in this light, the quest to make a case for rights and freedom in the parliament is laudable but not likely to make much headway among those who are invested in upholding the state and its purview. To be sure, members of parliament sometimes rule to reduce the state’s reach, but issues of sexuality especially seem to provoke greater state vigilance. The expanded role of law and law enforcement in cases of sexual assault and domestic violence in the Indian context are cases in point.

If there is one upshot thus far, then it is about the importance of looking away from the state as the source of justice. In contrast to the elusive victory in the courts and the legislature thus far, significant changes are taking place in mainstream discourses on same-sex sexualities. Public demonstrations and pride parades, sympathetic coverage especially in the English-language and digital media, increased public support for same-sex sexualities began as side notes of the legal campaign but are transforming the social landscape. The antisodomy law needs to be repealed, but perhaps the needs of same-sex sexualities are better served when it does not serve as the emblem or index of progress.

New Studies Assess Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) after the Passage of the Affordable Care Act

JHP404_coverproof1-1Assessing Accountable Care Organizations: Cost, Quality, and Market Power,” a special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (volume 40, issue 4), is an in-depth look at accountable care organizations (ACOs): networks of hospitals, physicians, or other health care providers that share financial and medical responsibility for the coordinated care of a patient.

Now numbering over 700 throughout the United States, ACOs were rare prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Their increased presence has sparked a debate about issues important to patients, providers, and taxpayers throughout the nation. “Integrated health delivery systems and accountable care organizations are becoming ubiquitous in our health care system,” Richard Scheffler, special issue co-editor, states. “They potentially could bend the cost curve and improve the quality of care, but they also present a threat to the competitiveness of health care markets.”

Contributors to this issue analyze the current landscape of ACOs from a national and state perspective and assess whether ACOs meet the expectations of patients for lowering costs, increasing the quality of health care, and impacting population health. The authors also identify the current status of ACO accountability and enforcement with insight into antitrust laws.

The issue also includes a Point-Counterpoint section in which Laurence Seidman (University of Delaware) and Harold Pollack (University of Chicago) debate the merits of a Medicare for All reform.

Much of the work in this issue was supported through the Nicholas C. Petris Center with funding from the California Attorney General’s office.

For more information about the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, published by Duke University Press, please visit For more information about the special issue, please contact Colleen Grogan, journal editor and special issue co-editor (cgrogan[at]uchicago[dot]edu) and Richard Scheffler, special issue co-editor (rscheff[at]berkeley[dot]edu).

Duke University Press at the Canadian Library Association Meeting

DUP booth at CLA 2014In May we attended the Canadian Library Association Conference for the first time in Victoria, British Columbia. Attending this meeting was a great way for us to reach out to our Canadian customers and learn more about what we can do to make their jobs easier.

University of Victoria Library Tour

The University of Victoria Library Tour

In addition to exhibiting and attending panels, we were able to tour two academic libraries—the University of Victoria and Camosun College Libraries—to learn more about recent library renovations at both schools. We even noticed some of our journals in the stacks!

We've always found it beneficial to engage in current conversations about important topics such as accessibility, open access content, and what new scholarship we can offer our customers like the recent launch of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly.

Camosun College Campus

Camosun College Campus

We look forward to meeting more of our customers! The next library conferences we will be attending are the International Federation of Library Association annual meeting and the Frankfurt Book Fair. 



Three Podcasts for Your Weekend Listening Pleasure

Heading out for a bike ride, a car trip, or just cleaning your house this weekend? We offer you three great podcasts with our authors to accompany whatever you might be doing.

Eddy thumbnail First, check out EddyFest 2011, a three part interview with famed music writer Chuck Eddy on Eight rock critics interview Eddy about his new book Rock And Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism.

Then, turn your attention to film with this interview with Robert J. Corber on New Corber thumb Books in Pop Culture. Corber is the author of Homosexuality in Cold War America and In the Name of National Security. In his latest book, Cold War Femme, Corber reads Hollywood films of the 1950s and 1960s demonstrate how Cold War homophobia focused on the femme as the lesbian who posed the greatest threat to the nation.

McLeod DiCola Small Finally, look at where law and music intersect: in the realm of copyright. In a podcast interview for New Books in Law, Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola, co-authors of Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling, talk the about legal and the cultural implications of digital sampling in the music industry and how hiphop has changed as copyright law enforcement has become stricter.

After you listen, we hope you'll decide you want to learn more by reading the books!

Judith Armatta on the Arrest of Ratko Mladic

Armatta Small The President of Serbia announced today that his government had captured accused war criminal Ratko Mladic, former head of the Bosnian Serb Army, and would transfer him to the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague for trial. Judith Armatta, author of Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic, has written this guest post about the significance of the arrest:

The arrest of Ratko Mladic demonstrates how far the world community has moved from providing warlords and tyrants with golden parachutes. The arrest of Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarek and the indictment of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi provide further evidence of the degree to which accountability for crimes by the powerful has taken root. Mubarek will stand trial in Egypt before an Egyptian court. Gaddafi has been indicted by the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, an indictment that must be confirmed by a trial chamber of the ICC before an arrest can be made, which at this point is not imminent as Gaddafi remains in power.

International war crimes trials are far more complex than domestic criminal trials. As a result, they take longer. Show trials such as Josef Stalin favored are speedy but do not bring justice. The public’s and especially victims’ frustration with lengthy trials is understandable, and trials need not drag on for over four years as the Milosevic trial did, ultimately robbing victims of a verdict. Milosevic was an ill man when he came to The Hague. His illness combined with the tribunal allowing him to represent himself were largely responsible for the trial’s length. One hopes that international courts have learned from these mistakes. With Mladic’s arrest they have another chance to get it right. 

Judith Armatta is available for interviews. Please contact Publicist Laura Sell at for more information.

Creative License Explores Law and Culture of Music Sampling

McLeod DiCola Small The new book Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling is just out and the authors, Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola are getting around. McLeod appeared on the radio show Sound Opinions a few weeks ago, to talk about sampling with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. This week the Future of Music Coalition is featuring an interview with both authors on their website. And McLeod is interviewed by Joe Fassler at today. Peter DiCola is doing events in Washington, DC and Philadelphia this weekend and the two authors will appear together at Iowa City's Prairie Lights bookstore on April 26. Finally, be sure to check out the very cool mixtape that sonic cut-and-paste artist Steinski created to accompany the book. It's features hundreds of songs and samples mashed together with soundbytes from the book. Download it for free here!

Fear of Fair Use

KembrewMcLeodCLynneNugent Kembrew McLeod, whose book Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling (with Peter DiCola ,Jenny Toomey, and Kristin Thomson) will be out in 2011,
writes an essay for The Atlantic about the need to change our laws
regarding music sampling. An album like Public Enemy's seminal Fear of a
Black Planet
(1990), which sampled dozens of songs, would lose $5 an
album if forced to comply with today's rules. McLeod believes the
cumbersome and expensive laws are greatly inhibiting creativity. He advocates a move to a "blanket license" system like the one ASCAP uses to allow radio stations, bars, and live venues to broadcast music. McLeod has just made a documentary about these issues called Copyright Criminals. He is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa.

Study in JHPPL Questions Benefits of Price Protection for Drug Companies

The study, “Policy Making on Data Exclusivity in the European Union: From Industrial Interests to Legal Realities,” by Adamini, Hans Maarse, Esther Versluis, and Donald W. Light, examines the results of actions undertaken by advocates for the pharmaceutical industry inside the European Commission, who initiated ten-year data exclusivity price protection and managed revisions to the legislation. The authors demonstrate that there is no evidence that patents held by pharmaceutical companies are not already sufficient, or that these government-mandated higher prices increase innovation.

The study also highlights the risks of the legislation if it passes in the U.S., and the resultant impact on developing countries, where data exclusivity makes drugs for cancer, HIV-AIDS, and other serious conditions prohibitively expensive. Physicians working for international humanitarian organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, have also reported how the lack of generic competition makes drugs they need for their patients unaffordable in developing countries. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which fosters competition, has stated that data exclusivity price protections for biological drugs are not necessary.

This study is accessible for free at

For more information on the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, please visit