Cost of Living and Consumer Affairs

For Mass., high stakes in health debate

Efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act gained some momentum this week as Republicans put forward legislation that would put the brakes on federal health care spending in a way that would disproportionately impact blue states such as Massachusetts, New York, and California. The legislation, filed by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill(...)

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MBTA rolls out new transit ambassadors

MBTA rolls out new transit ambassadors

Use of private contractor expected to save $4m a year

  THE MBTA IS STARTING to ramp up its new transit ambassador program, its latest bid to improve service using private contractors. Transit ambassadors, wearing bright red shirts emblazoned with the T logo and the words “Questions? Ask Me!” on the back, help riders with any problems they may have. The new ambassadors, who work(...)

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What’s Amazon up to?

Amazon slashed the prices of a handful of items at its just-acquired Whole Foods chain, a move that garnered loads of publicity but shed little light on the online retailing giant’s long-term supermarket plans. Prices for organic butter, milk, bananas, eggs, almond butter, baby kale, apples, and responsibly farmed salmon all fell. The price cuts(...)

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NYC subway system looks to Boston

In case you missed it, the New York City subway system is in crisis mode, and officials in the Big Apple are looking to Boston for some answers. At the end of June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency, ordered a turnaround plan for the subway system, and pledged(...)

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4 takeaways from sales tax moves

You could actually see an industry in transition on Wednesday. Amazon held a giant job fair at nearly a dozen of its US warehouses, including the one in Fall River, as the company sought to fill 50,000 empty positions across the country. At the same time, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts announced it was mounting(...)

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MassHealth votes represent major shift

The Legislature’s rejection of Gov. Charlie Baker’s MassHealth savings initiatives represents a big political shift on Beacon Hill. In the past, Democratic lawmakers have largely ceded the nitty gritty of budget balancing to Baker, but Wednesday’s votes suggest they are willing to take a political stand that requires them to step up and find savings(...)

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Baker facing resistance to MassHealth cuts

In Washington, the fight over the nation’s health care future is full of drama. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is dealing with brain cancer, vowed to return to Capitol Hill today to vote on whether to begin debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act. And President Trump is making it very clear where he(...)

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The Codcast: Trash talk

CommonWealth ran a cover story in January 2015 that featured a photo of a dump truck unloading trash at a massive landfill in New Bedford. The headline, drifting in the center of the page amid all the stinking refuse, was: “Seriously, is this the best we can do?” Now, more than two years later, we’re(...)

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Home loan segregation

A study of home mortgage lending in Massachusetts provides yet another window on racial segregation in Massachusetts. The study, by the Massachusetts Community & Banking Council, found blacks in 2015 received either no home loans or one loan in nearly two-thirds of the 351 Massachusetts cities and towns. In just over 40 percent of the(...)

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