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Michael Rugnetta
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Michael Rugnetta is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and a former Research Assistant to Jonathan Moreno for the Progressive Bioethics Initiative at the Center for American Progress. A native of Philadelphia, Rugnetta graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May of 2007 with a double major in political science and cognitive science. He received honors in political science for his thesis on swing voters. While studying full-time at Penn, Rugnetta held multiple work-study positions in psychology labs and at Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania. He also worked as a public-speaking advisor for his fellow undergraduates. In the spring of his junior year, Rugnetta studied abroad at the University of Cambridge, where he took courses in developmental psychology and religion and politics. Rugnetta was also active in student-run theater, Penn's Robert A. Fox Leadership Program, and the Penn Bioethics Society.

The opinions expressed in Michael Rugnetta's blog posts are solely his own and not those of any of his past, present, or future employers. None of the content contained in or linked to his blog posts constitutes formal legal advice, an offer or advertisement for legal services, the provision of legal services, or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Contacting Michael Rugnetta through comments, twitter, or any other online network as a result of information in his blogs or on his Huffington Post pages does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship either.

Entries by Michael Rugnetta

Medicare Claims Database Finally Public

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:33 PM

Looks like you will finally be able to see how much your doctor is making from Medicare. I wrote a paper on this very issue back in 2012 for my health care fraud seminar in law school. You can read the paper here. The paper describes the whole background regarding...

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Innate Intelligence: The 800-Pound Non-Sequitur

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 4:02 PM

Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher there was an argument about the SATs. One of the points that was missed was that the new SAT is going to be more transparent about what it tests and how you can practice for it. This is a good thing. One...

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Tax-y and He Knows It

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2012 | 4:17 PM

The Supreme Court's health care ruling was surprising for many reasons -- John Roberts siding with the court's liberal wing, the upholding of the mandate as a tax instead of as an exercise of the commerce power -- but the most surprising feat of judicial interpretation was the tap-dance John...

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Book Dilemma

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2012 | 10:53 PM

So, a few weeks ago, I was reading a book from the library. It was pretty good. I had about 20 pages left...and then, I lost it. I believe I lost it on a plane. I contacted the airline. They could not find it.

So, it's gone -- without...

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For Once, a Good Pop Song Is Stuck in My Head

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2012 | 3:34 PM

I just wanted to briefly note that I cannot get the song "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye out of my head. I am not upset about this since I think it is one of the better infectious pop songs to come around in a while....

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Disparities in Health: Biomedical Research and the Latino Community

(2) Comments | Posted June 30, 2011 | 2:46 PM

Click here to read this article in Spanish.

Click here to read Rugnetta's full report, "Addressing Race and Genetics: Health Disparities in the Era of Personalized Medicine."

Latinos suffer from wide ranging health disparities in comparison to non-Hispanic whites. They
are twice as likely, for...

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The Presidential Commission and Synthetic Biology

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2010 | 2:15 PM

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues convened last week for its first meeting. The commission -- created by executive order with the "goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner"...

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New Milestone in Genetic Testing

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2010 | 5:18 PM

Here is my latest article on the first study published by a Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing company:


Defining the Boundaries of Genetic Testing

New Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests Raise Privacy Concerns

A recently released study by direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe reveals the privacy challenges ahead for public health...

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My Take on the Recent Brooks-Taibbi Flap

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2010 | 9:55 PM

After reading Matt Taibbi's response to David Brooks followed by the original David Brooks blog on why the rich work harder than everyone else, I realized it dovetails nicely with an inane rambling I scribbled on my BlackBerry's note-taking app when I was on the train Sunday night....

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Avatar Afterthought

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2010 | 1:03 PM

Amidst all of the chatter about Avatar being anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-military, blah blah blah -- which I think is mostly nonsense -- one aspect I had a problem with was the simplicity with which the corporate characters were drawn. Of course, most of the characters were simplistic, but the villains...

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Thoughts on Bone Marrow Selling

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2010 | 12:52 PM

Although, I am a committed progressive, on Tuesday I watched an engaging discussion at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. What follows is a summary along with a few thoughts of my own.

The discussion concerned the legalization of bone-marrow selling. All of the panelists supported this....

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My Problem with Jersey Shore

(13) Comments | Posted December 19, 2009 | 6:24 PM

I don't have a problem with Jersey Shore because it's degrading to Italian-Americans such as myself or because it misrepresents the Jersey Shore vacation environment (which I have escaped to every summer of my life and enjoy thoroughly). I do not possess an Italian-American persecution complex, but because Jersey Shore...

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The Latest from Science Progress

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2009 | 5:51 PM

I've had a few blog post go up on CAP's Science Progress website this past week.  They chronicle some under-the-radar science news items and aim to put them in proper political pespective. 

New Stem Cell Lines

New Bioethics Commission

Congress Takes...

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Personalized Medicine

(1) Comments | Posted October 18, 2009 | 7:35 PM

It's been a busy week.  I attended four conferences about personalized medicine, medical genomics, and medical innovation.  I took copious notes and have lots to sort through but take a look at my personalized medicine video for a brief introduction. and take a look at

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Staying In the Loop

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2009 | 12:58 PM

I am very fortunate to have an art house theater just a few blocks from my office. Sometimes, it gives me a chance to put my day-to-day policy work into a fresh perspective by watching smart, engaging, and politically-relevant cinema. Good political cinema has the ability to imbue any issue...

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On the Cutting Room Floor for State of Play

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2009 | 3:08 PM

I paid no attention to the dialogue during the Ben's Chili Bowl scene of State of Play. That's because I was looking for myself. That's right! I was an extra during the filming of State of Play last year in DC. I went for the one-day shoot at Ben's Chili...

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Civilized Conversation on Stem Cells

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2009 | 12:18 AM

Last Friday, I took the Metro down to the studios of Voice of America to do an interview for their show Encounter. It was my first time in a radio studio and I must say that I had a lovely time. I had a chance to discuss the finer points...

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Rise of the Filet-o-Fish

(11) Comments | Posted March 22, 2009 | 11:56 PM

The new filet-o-fish jingle may very well be the greatest achievement in recent pop-culture history.


Long the bastard child of the McDonald's extra value menu, the filet-o-fish sandwich will now occupy an...

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A New Debate Can't Wait

(9) Comments | Posted March 9, 2009 | 6:00 PM

Mr. President, we are ready for your go-ahead! The ethical debate on embryonic stem cell research is moving. Scientists and ethicists have debated long enough about whether we should do embryonic stem cell research. It is now time to debate how we do the research - both at the bench...

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