Author Archives: Andrea Sears

Health Care Advocates Call New Insurance Rule Bad for Consumers, Providers

Health Care Advocates Call New Insurance Rule Bad for Consumers, Providers

Photo Courtesy of Franchise Opportunities  A new health insurance rule is being called another blow to people with pre-existing conditions. On Wednesday, the Trump administration released a new rule that allows insurance companies to expand the sale of short-term insurance plans that don’t cover the health benefits deemed “essential” by the Affordable Care Act. Cheryl

Ocean Monuments Have No Impact on Commercial Fishing

Public data on commercial fishing shows no losses from the creation of protected areas off the New England coast, according to a new analysis. The commercial fishing industry had opposed the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, saying that prohibiting commercial fishing in the two areas would cripple the industry. But

Report: Census Undercount Could Undermine Well-Being of Mass. Children

BOSTON – The latest figures on the well-being of children show Massachusetts remains second in the nation, but child advocates fear trouble ahead. In the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book, the Bay State shows improvement in eight of 16 categories covering economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. But Laura

Advocates Fear More Discrimination After Masterpiece Cake Ruling

Civil rights advocates fear the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case will encourage more attempted discrimination against LGBT people. By a 7-2 margin, the court ruled that the cake shop owner had not received an impartial hearing at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission over his refusal on religious grounds to make a wedding

The Environmental Protection Agency announced that they intend to weaken Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, but environmental groups are preparing to fight back. The standards, finalized in January 2017, require new cars to average 50 miles per gallon by 2025. Bowing to pressure from manufacturers, the Trump administration now says it will

Student Loan Bill of Rights Passes Mass. Senate

A bill to protect student loan borrowers from deceptive loan service companies has cleared the state Senate. Almost two-thirds of undergraduate students in the Bay State finish college with an average of nearly $30,000 of student loan debt. That’s a 75 percent increase since 2004. According to Deirdre Cummings, legislative director with the consumer watchdog

Mass. Bill Pushes Back Against Implementation of Video Only Prison Visits

Maintaining contact with family is important to the wellbeing of people who are incarcerated, and a bill in Massachusetts’ state legislature would ensure that in-person visits are protected. The visitation provision is part of a much larger criminal justice reform bill. According to Lucius Couloute, policy analyst with the Prison Policy Initiative, some sheriffs’ departments

Report: Tougher Drug Laws Don’t Reduce Overdose Deaths

A new nationwide study finds that putting more people in jail for drug offenses doesn’t reduce drug use or overdose deaths. On Monday, President Donald Trump called for harsher sentences– including the death penalty for drug traffickers– to combat the opioid epidemic. Jake Horowitz, director of research and policy at Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety

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