HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Senate Passage of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is a Surprise Holiday Gift

Hat tip to Andrew Torrance for this welcome announcement over on BioLaw and on Andrew's new blog LEXVIVO:

In a surprise to many, late on December 19, 2010, the United States Senate unanimously passed a modified version of S.510, the "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act," by voice vote.  If passed by the House, this bill will constitute perhaps the most significant overhaul to the food regulation provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act since its inception in 1938.  Soon after becoming President in 2009, Barack Obama came under intense pressure to improve regulation of food safety in the wake of a deadly Salmonella outbreak that contaminated peanut butter and melamine contamination of food imports from China.  Titles I and II attempt to strengthen the capacity of the Food and Drug Administration to avoid food safety problems, and Title III focuses on the safety of food imported from other countries.  

LEXVIVO will provide additional coverage of this bill if it is approved by the House during this session of Congress, which approval now seems likely.  President Obama strongly supports this bill, assuring that it will become law if passed by the House.

December 21, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Google Releases Body Browser: Google Earth For Human Anatomy

Google has just released Body Browser. As Bob Coffield over at Health Care Law Blog said "[t]hink Google Earth for human anatomy."

Google body browser 2 

Body Browser is a detailed 3D model of the human body. You can peel back anatomical layers, zoom in, and navigate to parts that interest you. Click to identify anatomy, or search for muscles, organs, bones and more.

You can also show share the exact scene you are viewing by copying and pasting the corresponding URL.

What a wonderful tool to use in Health Law classes! 


December 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Health Affairs Call For Papers On Health Care Quality

Health Affairs will publish a theme issue on health care quality in April 2011. The journal's aim is to bring together the best current thinking on a range of topics related to quality and to highlight important trends, developments, and controversies. Health Affairs particularly wants to surface key issues or proposals for consideration by policy makers at the state, federal, organizational or industry level.

Papers should be submitted to Health Affairs by January 3, 2011 through the journal's online submission system here. Papers submitted by that date will be considered for inclusion in the theme issue as well as in subsequent issues of the journal later in 2011. Papers submitted after January 3 will be considered for later issues, but not for the April theme issue.

Detailed information on the theme issue and submission requirements is available on the Health Affairs Website here. Authors who are uncertain of the appropriateness of their work for the issue may informally send an abstract to Health Affairs deputy editor Sarah Dine at Other questions may be directed to Ms. Dine or executive editor Don Metz at

December 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Publication Opportunity: Journal of Food Law & Policy

The Journal of Food Law & Policy at the University of Arkansas School of Law is seeking submissions for its Spring 2011 issue. This Journal, the only student-edited U.S. law journal focused exclusively on food law issues, was started in July 2005, and it is now well established in the academic community. Available on both Westlaw and Hein On Line, the Journal features articles on a wide range of current issues of food law and policy.  It includes regular food law updates from the United States, the European Union, and Canada. The Journal is published twice a year and is edited by some of the top law students at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

 Article submissions can be e-mailed to

For more information, or to make a submission, contact the Journal via e-mail at or by phone at (479) 575-2754.

December 7, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Side-By-Side Comparisons of Medicare Changes In Recent Deficit-Reduction Proposals

The Kaiser Foundation has posted a very useful tool that provides a side-by-side comparison of Medicare changes in the recent deficit-reduction proposals:

In response to mounting concern about the nation’s rising debt and deficit, and increasing apprehension about the federal budget, prominent leaders and various commissions have come forward with recommendations to strengthen the economy and bolster the nation’s fiscal health. These proposals include both tax increases and spending reductions in discretionary programs, including defense, and in mandatory programs, such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Each set of these proposals recommends reducing the growth in Medicare spending over time. Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 slowed the growth in Medicare spending by more than $400 billion between 2010 and 2019 and extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by 12 years, Medicare still accounts for 15 percent of the federal budget and is projected to grow over time due to rising health care costs and an aging population.          

To better understand the key Medicare changes put forward as part of the deficit- and debt-reduction debate, the Foundation has prepared side-by-side comparisons of the following proposals:

• The Administration’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, chaired by Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, based on the “Moment of Truth” report released on December 1, 2010;

• The Debt Reduction Task Force, chaired by Dr. Alice Rivlin and former Sen. Peter Domenici, in    their report “Restoring America’s Future”, released November 17, 2010;

• The Ryan/Rivlin Proposal put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan and Dr. Alice Rivlin on November 17,     2010;

• The Roadmap for America’s Future, as proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan in January of 2010;

• Dr. Bill Galston and Maya MacGuineas, whose recommendations were released as part of “The Future is Now” report on September 30, 2010; and

• Rep. Jan Schakowsky, whose Deficit Reduction Plan was released on November 16, 2010.

 The side-by-side comparison is available online.

December 6, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kaiser Updates Resources on Health Coverage and the Uninsured to Include Latest Census Data

An update to the health coverage and the uninsured databases of The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured now reflects new data released in September by the U.S. Census Bureau. This update also includes information about the potential impact of the health reform law on the uninsured population. Kaiser's databases include:

The Uninsured: A Primer -- Updated with 2009 data, the Primer reviews the basic profile of the uninsured population, how they receive care, the latest trends in health insurance coverage, key issues in increasing coverage and basic statistics on the uninsured. It also discusses how the      new health reform law might affect the uninsured population.

The Uninsured and the Difference Health Insurance Makes -- This fact sheet describes the characteristics of the uninsured population, the difference health insurance makes, and why there is a large uninsured population.

Five Facts on the Uninsured --This issue brief provides basic facts that explain why so many people in America lack health coverage and how being uninsured affects their health and financial security.

The Health Coverage & Uninsured section of the Foundation’s website includes data on the health insurance status of state populations and demographic information for those who are uninsured, have employer-based insurance, or Medicaid, including state-by-state changes in coverage since 2007. The Demographics and the Economy section includes basic information about each state’s residents, including breakdowns of the population by age, gender, race/ethnicity, income and employment.

For all the latest Kaiser research, analysis and information about the uninsured and health reform, consult the Foundation’s Health Reform Source page.

December 1, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)