Opinion

Moving beyond health cost targets

Moving beyond health cost targets

A struggle for the soul of the Health Policy Commission

IN LATE MARCH, the board of the Health Policy Commission voted unanimously to leave the 2018 cost growth benchmark for total state health care expenditures at 3.1 percent. This target for per-person growth in health spending was set under our 2012 cost containment law as the predicted growth in the state’s overall economy for 2018(...)

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New Seaport garage makes sense

New Seaport garage makes sense

300 net new spaces in 1,500-space garage

THE NEWS THAT MASSPORT is moving forward with a planned 1,550-space parking garage in the Seaport District, and that the city wants to add another 550 spaces to its garage in the nearby Marine Industrial Park, unleashed some negativity on social media and elsewhere.  The negative reaction was no surprise to those of us who(...)

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With mixed record on opioids, Baker joining task force

With mixed record on opioids, Baker joining task force

Prescriptions have slowed, but overdose deaths rising

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER IS JOINING a White House task force on opioids, to be chaired by fellow governor Chris Christie, whom Baker endorsed in the Republican presidential primaries. Baker is bringing with him a reputation for action on the issue, both here in Massachusetts and leading his fellow governors. Yet despite these efforts, opioids remain(...)

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The world isn’t as flat as we thought

The world isn’t as flat as we thought

Mobility is key to closing economic divide

LONG-TERM TRENDS WILL CHANGE the global economy, putting unique strains on both large cities and outlying areas. PwC has identified five megatrends actively shaping our world: rapid urbanization, technological breakthroughs, shifts in global economic power, demographic and social change, and climate change. These trends combine to create a geographic and economic divide—booming cities that produce(...)

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Eversource electric vehicle proposal worth pursuing

Eversource electric vehicle proposal worth pursuing

Unfortunately, it’s being overshadowed by rate hike request

RECENT ACCOUNTS OF THE EVERSOURCE rate case have understandably focused on the utility’s request for a controversial rate increase. However, at risk of getting lost in the shuffle is a modest proposal within the larger rate case for electric vehicle infrastructure that, if further refined, could be a win-win-win for the environment, consumers, and utilities.(...)

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How we turn Western Mass. into a high-tech hub

How we turn Western Mass. into a high-tech hub

Transportation, access to capital, and skilled workforce are key

THOSE OF US in Western Massachusetts watched for two generations as the Route 128 corridor boomed and greater Boston turned into one of the world’s great tech centers. Meanwhile, our largely manufacturing-based economy, once a thriving ecosystem, was unable to compete as the technology revolution took hold and policymakers focused elsewhere — leading to a(...)

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School funding fix needed

School funding fix needed

State failing its constitutional obligation to public education

PUBLIC SCHOOLS TODAY find themselves under a microscope and pulled by competing forces like never before. Education is a system in flux as it strives to institute necessary change in order to effectively meet the demands of today’s students and society. Change never comes without cost, be that time, money, resources, or personnel. These elements(...)

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Lawmakers must remove autonomous vehicle roadblocks

Lawmakers must remove autonomous vehicle roadblocks

Self-driving cars will ease congestion and promote economic growth

WHAT IF YOU COULD REMOVE error as a cause of motor vehicle crashes? The reality is we are getting closer to that point every day. Cars are getting smarter, and smarter means safer. Advanced braking systems can detect a potential collision and help a car stop before it happens, and features such as adaptive cruise(...)

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What about those holes?

TO SHOW YOU how stupid I am, I thought Suffolk Construction had forgotten to finish the job when it was building Millennium Tower at Downtown Crossing. Every day last year I watched, fascinated, as the building soared higher and higher into the air. And then it seemed to be finished. Lights were coming on in(...)

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Correspondence, Spring 2017

Correspondence, Spring 2017

MILLIONAIRE’S TAX IS FAIR In his recent piece in CommonWealth regarding the proposed Fair Share Amendment, or “millionaire’s tax,” Edward M. Murphy clearly understands why the amendment is necessary (“Dump the millionaire tax,” Winter ’17). He is right that the $1.9 billion that would be generated by the tax “could make a real difference” in(...)

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