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HKS in the News March 29, 2012

1. Academic Built Case for Mandate in Health Care Law (Summers, Cutler) New York Times

2. The EPA’s odd double standard on pollution rules (Stavins) Washington Post

3. Open mike picks up good signal (Kayyem) Boston Globe

4. Few back Mitt Romney on Russia as ‘foe’ (Burns) Boston Globe

5. Conference aims to sell students on innovative Israel (Rivlin) The Times of Israel


Academic Built Case for Mandate in Health Care Law

New York Times

March 29

Quoted: Lawrence Summers, Center for Business and Government; David Cutler

Topic: Court challenge to the Affordable Health Care Act

...“My general thought about the mandate is if insurance is affordable and accessible, most people will buy it anyway,” said David Cutler, an economist at Harvard and longtime collaborator of Mr. Gruber’s....

Mr. Obama had made health care reform a cornerstone of his campaign, and wanted to announce a credible proposal quickly after taking office. But members of the Obama administration’s transition team said they had inherited an executive branch that had vastly underinvested in modeling research on health care, especially compared to the technical modeling that had been done in areas like tax policy.

“Creating a good model from scratch would have taken months, maybe years,” said Lawrence H. Summers, who was the director of President Obama’s National Economic Council and had advised Mr. Gruber on his dissertation when they were at Harvard.

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The EPA’s odd double standard on pollution rules

Washington Post

March 28

Quoted: Robert Stavins, Harvard Environmental Economics Program

Topic: EPA guidelines on power plants

One of the strangest aspects of the EPA’s newest rules on carbon-dioxide emissions is that they only apply to future power plants. Existing facilities — the ones that are actually producing all the pollution — get to carry on as they were. That seems perverse. So why does the EPA do things this way?

As it happens, this is how a lot of environmental regulation gets done in the United States. Back in 2005, Harvard economist Robert Stavins even gave the strategy a catchy name: “vintage-differentiated regulation.” Policymakers love this approach....

In his paper, Stavins explains why this approach is so appealing to wonks.

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Open mike picks up good signal

Boston Globe

March 29

Commentary by: Juliette Kayyem

Topic: U.S.-Russian relations

THE FRENZY of indignation surrounding President Obama’s open-mike chat with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has yet to subside, as his political opponents think they finally have a sliver of evidence that he is, indeed, the Manchurian president. The Republican National Committee already has a fundraising ad: “What Obama tells world leaders when he thinks you aren’t listening.’’ From what we could hear when the leaders met privately at a nuclear safety summit in Seoul this week, Obama asked for “space’’ and “flexibility’’ in resolving dramatic differences over missile defense systems. The reason for his request, if it wasn’t obvious, was because we are in the midst of an election.

The more surprising line in the public tete-a-tete was actually what came after. For those who view a continuing détente between Russia and the United States as a relatively helpful goal for world order, Medvedev’s response to Obama (a WikiLeaks moment without the wiki or the leak) was heartening.

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Few back Mitt Romney on Russia as ‘foe’
Boston Globe

March 27

Quoted: Nicholas Burns, Future of Diplomacy Project

Topic: Mitt Romney's stance on U.S.-Russian relations

Mitt Romney’s labeling of Russia as the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe’’ sparked criticism Tuesday from the Kremlin and foreign policy specialists....

R. Nicholas Burns , a board member at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, called Romney “very well versed in foreign policy’’ but disagreed with his take on Russia.

“Words like ‘foe,’ ‘adversary,’ ‘enemy’ should be reserved for countries like Iran and North Korea,’’ said Burns, who was undersecretary of state for political affairs from 2005 to 2008. “Russia’s a country that’s been difficult to deal with, but it’s a country with which we cooperate.’’

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Conference aims to sell students on innovative Israel

The Times of Israel

March 29

Quoted: Yaniv Rivlin MPP 2012

Topic: Israel conference

In an effort to educate their fellow students and the greater college community on what Israel is really all about, a group of Harvard students are organizing that university’s first-ever Israel Conference. “We want the world to see Israel as we see it,” Yaniv Rivlin, a Harvard student and one of the event’s organizers, told The Times of Israel. “We want the world to see Israel as the innovative place we know it to be.”...

The two-day conference, set for April 19-20, will focus on the contributions Israel has made to technology, agriculture, energy management, medicine, and a plethora of other areas. A star-studded list of personalities, including “Start-Up Nation” co-writer Dan Senor, former US Ambassador to Israel Dennis Ross, and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, will speak on Israel’s contributions to modern life.

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In the HKS TV Studio

Kevin Ryan, Belfer Center
CTV, Canada, 3/29
Topic: Canadian budget and military expenditures

Broadcast Notes

Nicholas Burns, Future of Diplomacy Project

WBEZ, "The Bez," Chicago, 3/28
Topic: The future of NATO


This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Jane Finn-Foley


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