THE PIONEER BLOG

StateHouse

State Leadership Needed on Healthcare Price Transparency

Governor Baker’s recent healthcare proposals include provisions aimed at improving transparency in healthcare pricing. These policies imply that it is necessary to release more information in order to realize cost savings through healthcare price transparency measures, but current state laws already require the disclosure of price information upon request. Enforcing existing laws and creating incentives […]

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Achieving a Sustainable and Transparent Healthcare System

As the Legislative Special Commission on Provider Price Variation wraps up its work (their potential report/recommendations are due in mid-March), PioneerHealth took this opportunity to provide our expertise and vision for moving towards a sustainable and transparent healthcare system. We envision a host of policy recommendations, enhanced enforcement of existing laws, and a statewide education […]

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Family Caregiving & the Promise of Technology

Guest post by Ben Margolin When older Americans require around-the-clock care, yet want to remain in their homes, their families often end up as caregivers. There are significant financial barriers to ensuring that older adults adhere to their medication schedule and have access to the right doctors and specialists, all while feeling safe in their […]

Why do Massachusetts municipalities make meeting transparency harder than it has to be?

Executive session is where local governing boards interview police chiefs and school superintendents, negotiate with unions, discuss litigation, talk about misconduct by town employees, and conduct other delicate business that is kept temporarily private for legitimate reasons. Once the purpose of the meeting is resolved, the minutes are supposed to be reviewed by the town […]

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Ensuring a secure financial future for older adults

Every day, 10,000 Americans turn age 65. Adults over this age now make up more than 15 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Census Bureau – by 2029, this number will surpass 20 percent. Our 2017 Better Government Competition is focused on ensuring a better future for older Americans – and some of […]

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Celebrating School Choice Week: Removing Know-Nothing/Blaine Barriers to School Choice

On Day 5, the final day of National School Choice Week, we’re focusing on the need to overcome the Know-Nothing/Blaine legal obstacles that prevent largely poor and minority students from accessing equal educational opportunities. In nearly 40 states (see yellow states on map), the most severe barriers to school choice are antiquated, nativist constitutional amendments […]

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Insurer Using Market Clout to Lower Healthcare Costs for Consumers

There are rumblings among some in the hospital community voicing displeasure with the Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) new plan to cap payments to providers at 160% the Medicare rate. The GIC says this move will help save the agency $50-100 million annually and meet the state’s cost growth benchmark. Over the years, the GIC has […]

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Celebrating School Choice Week: Vocational-Technical Education

On Day 4 of National School Choice Week, we’re shining the spotlight on career-vocational technical education in Massachusetts, which is delivering on the promise of preparing students for both college and career success. Along with charter public schools, no other category of schools in Massachusetts has delivered results as impressive as those at voc-techs. Over […]

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Auditing the New Transparency Law: Where are the Records Access Officers?

With the advent of the Baker administration, Massachusetts transparency advocates were optimistic that the statute governing public records requests would be among the laws targeted for overhaul.  The optimism proved somewhat warranted as the legislature and Governor Baker were able to reach an agreement on a long-overdue update to procedures relating to the release of […]

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Celebrating School Choice Week: Digital Learning

On Day 3 of National School Choice Week, we explore opportunities to personalize educational options through Digital Learning. Pioneer believes that effective and accountable digital learning opportunities can benefit students across Massachusetts. Virtual schools challenge our traditional “one-size-fits-all” education model. They can often keep students engaged who may have physical disabilities or medical conditions, face […]

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Celebrating School Choice Week: The METCO Program

On Day 2 of National School Choice Week, we take a closer look at METCO, which provides over 3,300 children in Boston and Springfield with access to high-performing suburban schools. METCO, the nation’s longest-running voluntary school desegregation program, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. As our research has shown, test scores and graduation rates are higher […]

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Celebrating School Choice Week: Charter Public Schools

Today marks the beginning of National School Choice Week, an annual celebration of the variety of high-quality academic options available to families across the U.S. Each day this week at Pioneer Institute, we’ll be highlighting charter public schools, the METCO program, digital learning, vocational-technical schools, and independent and parochial schools. We kick off the week with video […]

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Our Government Transparency Resolutions for 2017

Although transparency was the expression of choice on Beacon Hill in 2016, the year fell short of what could have been a transformative period of government openness. Long overdue public records law reform was the most dramatic action taken by the Legislature in this vein, but compromise ultimately weakened what otherwise could have been very […]

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Pioneer Celebrates the Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, America celebrates the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose eloquence and courage mobilized this nation during the Civil Rights era. Over the last several years, Pioneer Institute has promoted U.S. History instruction and school choice options in K-12 schooling. We seek to ensure that schoolchildren will learn about their national heritage […]

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Aging In America: Help us ensure a better future for older citizens

Pioneer Institute’s 2017 Better Government Competition  topic, “Aging in America,” is timely and critical. The older population in the United States and elsewhere is expected to increase dramatically in the coming decades as those in the post-war baby boom generation approach retirement. The population of people 65 and over will double – from 36 million […]