Author Archives: Andrea Sears

Critics Call HHS Proposal “License to Discriminate”

LGBT Americans face a patchwork of civil rights protections from state-to-state, and their advocates say a potential new government office could increase discrimination. On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services released details of a proposed rule for a new division in its Office of Civil Rights for the purpose of protecting religious freedom,

Study Says Food Assistance Improves Health

A new report links access to SNAP benefits to improved health and lower health care costs. The paper, published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, compiles studies of the health status of low-income people who receive assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, and those who are eligible

Minimum Wage Increase Would Be Boon For Families that Depend on Teens’ Paychecks

A new study from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says raising the minimum wage has little impact on teen unemployment, but can have a big impact on teens and their families. On Monday, 18 states saw their minimum wages increase, but Massachusetts wasn’t among them. A bill in the state legislature would raise the

Healthcare Advocates Slam Proposed Insurance Rule

The federal Department of Labor is proposing a rule that critics say would allow the sale of what some call “junk” health insurance. Published in the Federal Register last week, the rule would loosen restrictions on Association Health Plans, offered by professional groups or other associations to their members. The Labor Department said the purpose

No More “Free and Open” Internet? Party-Line Vote at FCC Scuttles Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to repeal net neutrality rules. In a party-line vote on Thursday, the FCC approved a proposal to end regulations that prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or slowing down access or prioritizing their own content. Commission Chair Ajit Pai said repealing the Obama-era rules will help consumers and promote

Bay State Takes a Step Toward Single Payer

State senators have approved an amendment to a bill that could help pave the way to a single-payer health-care system in Massachusetts. The amendment, now attached to a larger health-care reform bill in the legislature, directs the state’s nonpartisan Health Policy Commission to compare three years of actual health care costs in the state to

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