Voices

Stuart Altman: Health care watchdog

Stuart Altman: Health care watchdog

Chair of Health Policy Commission has lots of experience squeezing health costs

Photographs by Frank Curran STUART ALTMAN IS 78, an age when most people are taking the foot off life’s gas pedal. But Altman isn’t pulling over to the side of the road yet. The economist lectures on health policy at Brandeis University in Waltham and is playing an active role in trying to rein in(...)

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Opportunity gap

Opportunity gap

Robert Putnam says a growing divide in everything from stable home lives to access to extracurricular activities is cutting poor children off from the American dream.

Photographs by Frank Curran THE NEW YORK TIMES recently called Robert Putnam the “poet laureate of civil society.” One of a handful of academics known for bringing social science out of the ivory tower, the longtime Harvard political science professor puts research findings on big trends in American life into layman’s language, telling stories that(...)

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The T’s chief tweeter

The T’s chief tweeter

Lisa Battiston works with the agency’s 138,000 followers

When did you start at the T and where did you come from? I started in November 2011. I came from outside the authority. I had just gotten my masters in fine arts from Emerson in creative writing. Are you a whiz at social media? As adept as most 20-somethings are at social media. I(...)

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Dealing fairly with pretrial detainees

Dealing fairly with pretrial detainees

Using risk-based assessments, we could improve justice, lower crime, and save taxpayers money

IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, but there is a tested way to improve the fairness of our justice system while saving taxpayers money and lowering crime. The solution is to make data-driven decisions about individuals who get arrested to determine which ones should remain in jail while awaiting trial and which ones should(...)

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No time to go wobbly on One Care

No time to go wobbly on One Care

Program has hit hurdles, but we need to stay the course

BACK IN 2008, when I was working in the US Senate on national health reform, a delegation of 20 business leaders from the New England Council visited Capitol Hill to offer advice. The group’s leader was Charlie Baker, then Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s CEO. I recall his one recommendation: “You have to do something about dual(...)

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Helping those with brain injuries

Helping those with brain injuries

Long-term housing and fitness programs offer promise

MASSACHUSETTS IS A WORLD LEADER in emergency, acute, and acute rehabilitation medical care. Our colleges and universities conduct advanced research on cognition and intelligence, and are home to some of the greatest thinkers in their fields. Our physicians, hospitals, and medical institutions are on the leading edge of disease research and treatment. Yet until recently, the Commonwealth(...)

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Letters, Fall 2015

INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING NOT WORKING IN CAMBRIDGE James Sutherland’s article on Instant Runoff Voting (“A Democracy Worth Paying For,” Summer ’15) points out that turnouts in Cambridge run higher than in Boston, but that’s not particularly useful information. A comparison with teeth is Cambridge’s 72-year history of IRV-style voting, where you will find decades-long, steadily(...)

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Uber is a transportation outlaw

Uber is a transportation outlaw

Should popularity trump statutes and regulations?

THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION, the Massachusetts House and Senate will most certainly take up debate on the controversial issue of so-called “rideshare” companies.  These are companies that use an app to connect customers with drivers, most using their own personal vehicle. The largest of these companies by far is Uber, whose business plan and actions to(...)

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Ridesharing choices must be protected

Ridesharing choices must be protected

Uber supports rules that support safety and innovation

UBER IS A technology platform that allows people in Massachusetts, and in more than 310 cities worldwide, to find rides from available drivers. In many of these cities, Uber offers a ridesharing service called uberX, where drivers use their personal cars to pick up passengers. This type of peer-to-peer transportation system, comprised largely of part-time(...)

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Man in the middle

Man in the middle

John Grossman brings government, providers, and money together for pay-for-success projects

Photographs by Frank Curran JOHN GROSSMAN calls himself an intermediary. It’s an unusual job description, but it’s one that captures what he does putting together complex deals that leverage money from the private sector to fund social service work for government. Grossman is the man in the middle, trying to address social ills by bringing(...)

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