Voices

A nation divided

A nation divided

Alan Wolfe, who told us two decades ago we were "One Nation, After All," isn’t so sure anymore

ALAN WOLFE HAS had a long interest in American democracy and in Americans’ attitudes toward it and toward issues related to religion and morality. But the longtime sociology professor at Boston College is a restless inquirer, having also authored books on topics as diverse as gambling, school choice, political evil, and, most recently, the Jewish(...)

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To serve and elect

To serve and elect

Emily Cherniack wants to get more people with military or civilian service backgrounds into public office

Photograph by Frank Curran   The organization you founded, New Politics, is committed to finding and helping elect candidates for office who have backgrounds in the military or civilian service organizations such as AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. Why is it important to have people with those backgrounds in public office? We’re about people who(...)

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The art of the non-deal deal

The art of the non-deal deal

Health care ballot showdown averted, but pricing issue remains

ON MAY 31, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new law to avert a proposed 2016 state ballot initiative that would have redistributed as much as $450 million annually from Partners HealthCare hospitals to most of the state’s other hospitals by establishing stringent limits on hospital price variation. The new law, “Chapter 115, An act relative to(...)

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Fusion: The next big thing

Fusion: The next big thing

A Q&A with a remarkably optimistic Dennis Whyte from MIT

GREATER BOSTON IS on a roll, propelled by innovation. The US Chamber of Commerce recently named the region number one in the nation for “fostering entrepreneurial growth and innovation.” Our universities, medical institutions, research labs, and venture capitalists have combined to develop enterprises on the spearhead of biotech and high technology, producing whole industries that(...)

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The income-growth challenge in Gateway Cities

Wage stagnation has hit mid-sized cities particularly hard.

IT’S POSSIBLE FOR an economy to grow in ways that expand opportunity and promote broadly shared prosperity. We know that’s possible because it’s exactly what happened in the United States in the three decades after World War II. Each year, the economy grew at a strong clip and incomes grew for low, middle, and high-income(...)

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Partners CEO makes his pitch

Partners CEO makes his pitch

Torchiana says hospital system isn’t Public Enemy No. 1

Photographs by Frank Curran DAVID TORCHIANA, THE CEO OF PARTNERS HEALTHCARE, speaks very softly for a man who is 6-feet-6, weighs north of 200 pounds, and goes by the nickname of Torch. He is sitting one morning in early March at a table in an 11th floor conference room at the Prudential Center, where the(...)

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One on One with George Regan

One on One with George Regan

‘If you’ve got a mouth, use it,’ says PR poobah

Photograph by Frank Curran The scene: The Union Wharf office of George Regan, the president of Regan Communications Group and long-ago press secretary to former mayor Kevin White. His dog, Brother Bailey, named after former Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey, is up on the table in one corner and 400 pictures, most of them of(...)

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Radically decentralize DCF’s responsibilities

Radically decentralize DCF’s responsibilities

Child welfare agency needs to be embedded in communities it serves

THE MASSACHUSETTS ORGANIZATION responsible for running the state’s child welfare system has had four different names over a period of 40 years, which is not a sign of success. Each change was prompted by widespread concern with the way the agency did its work. Extensive media coverage of terrible incidents involving vulnerable children despoiled the(...)

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Behind the Massachusetts Health Connector’s rehab

Behind the Massachusetts Health Connector’s rehab

Strong management, customer focus brought exchange website back from brink

AT 11:59 PM on October 31, 2015, about 20 nervous state officials and contractors hunched around computer terminals in a non-descript office in the Charles F. Hurley Building near Beacon Hill. Among them was Louis Gutierrez, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, appointed the previous February by newly inaugurated Gov. Charlie Baker. The launch(...)

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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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