Opinion

5 takeaways from Baker’s health reform

5 takeaways from Baker’s health reform

Authorizes new class of practitioners called dental therapists

PHASE 2 OF THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION’S ambitious health reform agenda emerged this past week.  It contains good and smart proposals – and worrisome ones needing attention. Phase 1 is an ambitious effort to transform much of the state’s Medicaid program, known as MassHealth, into “accountable care organizations.” ACOs aim to focus hospitals, physicians, and other(...)

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Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

State subsidies have marginal impact but amount to $74,500 per job

HERE WE GO again. Government giveaways to industries will benefit all of Massachusetts, so the story goes. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that story is true. In 2008, then-Governor Deval Patrick argued that by giving away $1 billion to build the biotech industry, the Commonwealth would spur the creation of hundreds of thousands of(...)

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Fitness for parenting – it takes a village

Fitness for parenting – it takes a village

Bella Bond case prompts call for fitness test

“Ms. Bond’s ability to parent was not appropriately assessed.” Review of the Death of Bella Bond: Report of the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate, October 28, 2015  AS A FATHER AND GRANDFATHER, I know the gifts and blessings of children. I also know the awesome challenges and responsibilities of raising them in a healthy,(...)

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The upside of renewables

The upside of renewables

Clean energy advocates dispute any downside

A Commonwealth opinion piece (“The downside of renewables”) published on May 11 provided a flawed argument against renewable energy and its implications for the New England electricity grid by picking and choosing facts from European countries that are decades ahead of the US in the clean energy transition. We should learn from the successes and(...)

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Marijuana law must address race impact of War on Drugs

Marijuana law must address race impact of War on Drugs

Pending bill reintroduces regressive policies that voters rejected

IN NOVEMBER, MASSACHUSETTS voters chose to move our state’s drug policy into the 21st century by rejecting the failed War on Drugs and becoming the first state in the Eastern half of the country to legalize cannabis. Now, the Legislature is considering a bill which would reintroduce some of the same regressive principles that voters(...)

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Exports explain interest in gas pipeline

Exports explain interest in gas pipeline

Project isn't about need, it's about greed

AFTER MANY SIGNIFICANT LEGAL and legislative defeats, it’s tempting to think that the massive Access Northeast gas pipeline is dead. That project would transport natural gas from the fracking fields of southwestern Pennsylvania to New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and maritime Canadian ports. In the past year, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously ruled against the(...)

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Taxes don’t make millionaires move

Taxes don’t make millionaires move

National study shows very little migration driven by levy hikes

MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATORS APPROVED the so-called Fair Share Amendment last week, setting the stage for it to appear on the 2018 statewide ballot, where voters will decide whether to impose a “millionaire’s tax” on top income-earners to fund transportation and education. Critics will undoubtedly raise one important question: If the state passes this tax, will large(...)

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Don’t just sell, sell to your employees

Don’t just sell, sell to your employees

Few firms are familiar with worker ownership models

SMALL BUSINESSES IN MASSACHUSETTS will soon face a generational impasse. As baby boomers begin to retire, the businesses they have built will need new owners, but who these owners will be is still unclear. While baby boomers collectively own more than 50 percent of businesses with employees in America, only 28 percent of them have a(...)

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District attorneys abuse mandatory minimum drug sentences

District attorneys abuse mandatory minimum drug sentences

Boston school zone case underscores problem with laws

AS LAST MONTH’S MassINC poll reports, two-thirds of Massachusetts residents believe that drug use should be treated as a health problem rather than as a crime. And only 8 percent of Massachusetts residents agree with Attorney General Jeff Sessions that mandatory minimum sentencing is a wise criminal justice policy. But our drug laws haven’t changed(...)

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