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Hwang A.,Commonwealth of Massachusetts | Rosenbaum S.,George Washington University | Sommers B.D.,Brigham and Womens Hospital
Health Affairs | Year: 2012

The Affordable Care Act gives states the option of creating a so-called Basic Health Program to provide health insurance coverage for individuals and families whose incomes are low but who do not qualify for Medicaid. The Basic Health Program is intended, in part, to decrease churning, or frequent movement between Medicaid and state-run health insurance exchanges, by increasing the income-based eligibility transition point between the two programs to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. We analyzed data from the 2008 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation and found that among adults likely to participate in Medicaid and exchanges, only somewhat fewer experienced a change in eligibility with a 200 percent federal poverty level eligibility threshold compared with the previous threshold of 138 percent. As a result, we found that a Basic Health Program would prevent churning for 1.8 million adults nationally each year-reducing by about 4 percent the expected churning of low-income Americans between Medicaid and exchanges within a year. Such programs would also decrease the risk that lower-income families would be subject to recouping of premium tax credits. But churning rates would remain very high, and additional policy steps would be required to minimize the effect of coverage disruptions. ©2012 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. Source


News Article
Site: http://news.mit.edu/topic/mitnanotech-rss.xml

An independent nonprofit founded by MIT has been selected to run a new, $317 million public-private partnership announced today by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. The partnership, named the Advanced Functional Fibers of America (AFFOA) Institute, has won a national competition for federal funding to create the latest Manufacturing Innovation Institute. It is designed to accelerate innovation in high-tech, U.S.-based manufacturing involving fibers and textiles. The proposal for the institute was led by Professor Yoel Fink, director of MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE). The partnership includes 32 universities, 16 industry members, 72 manufacturing entities, and 26 startup incubators, spread across 27 states and Puerto Rico. This is the eighth Manufacturing Innovation Institute established to date, and the first to be headquartered in New England. The headquarters will be established in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in proximity to the MIT campus and its U.S. Army-funded Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology, as well as the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center. This unique partnership, Fink says, has the potential to create a whole new industry, based on breakthroughs in fiber materials and manufacturing. These new fibers and the fabrics made from them will have the ability to see, hear, and sense their surroundings; communicate; store and convert energy; monitor health; control temperature; and change their color. The new initiative will receive $75 million in federal funding out of a total of $317 million through cost sharing among the Department of Defense, industrial partners, venture capitalists, universities, nonprofits, and states including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The initial funding will cover a five-year period and will be administered through the new, independent, nonprofit organization set up for the purpose. The partnership, which will focus on both developing new technologies and training the workforce needed to operate and maintain these production systems, also includes a network of community colleges and experts in career and technical education for manufacturing. “Massachusetts’s innovation ecosystem is reshaping the way that people interact with the world around them,” says Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. “This manufacturing innovation institute will be the national leader in developing and commercializing textiles with extraordinary properties. It will extend to an exciting new field our ongoing efforts to nurture emerging industries, and grow them to scale in Massachusetts. And it will serve as a vital piece of innovation infrastructure, to support the development of the next generation of manufacturing technology, and the development of a highly skilled workforce.” “Through this manufacturing innovation institute, Massachusetts researchers and Massachusetts employers will collaborate to unlock new advances in military technology, medical care, wearable technology, and fashion,” adds Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “This, in turn, will help drive business expansion, support the competitiveness of local manufacturers, and create new employment opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth.” Announcing the new institute at an event at MIT, Carter stressed the importance of technology and innovation to the mission of the Department of Defense and to national security broadly: “The intersection of the two is truly an opportunity-rich environment. These issues matter. They have to do with our protection and our security, and creating a world where our fellow citizens can go to school and live their lives, and dream their dreams, and one day give their children a better future. Helping defend your country and making a better world is one of the noblest things that a business leader, a technologist, an entrepreneur, or a young person can do, and we’re all grateful to all of you for doing that with us.” For thousands of years, humans have used fabrics in much the same way, to provide basic warmth and aesthetics. Clothing represents “one of the most ancient forms of human expression,” Fink says, but one that is now, for the first time, poised to undergo a profound transformation — the dawn of a “fabric revolution.” “What makes this point in time different? The answer is research,” Fink says: Objects that serve many complex functions are always made of multiple materials, whereas single-material objects, such as a drinking glass, usually have just a single, simple function. But now, new technology — some of it developed in Fink’s own laboratory — is changing all that, making it possible to integrate many materials and complex functional structures into a fabric’s very fibers, and to create fiber-based devices and functional fabric systems. The semiconductor industry has shown how to combine millions of transistors into an integrated circuit that functions as a system; as described by “Moore’s law,” the number of devices and functions has doubled in computer chips every couple of years. Fink says the team envisions that the number of functions in a fiber will grow with similar speed, paving the way for highly functional fabrics. The challenge now is to execute this vision, Fink says. While many textile and apparel companies and universities have figured out pieces of this puzzle, no single one has figured it all out. “It turns out there is no company or university in the world that knows how to do all of this,” Fink says. “Instead of creating a single brick-and-mortar center, we set out to assemble and organize companies and universities that have manufacturing and ‘making’ capabilities into a network — a ‘distributed foundry’ capable of addressing the manufacturing challenges. To date, 72 manufacturing entities have signed up to be part of our network.” “With a capable manufacturing network in place,” Fink adds, “the question becomes: How do we encourage and foster product innovation in this new area?” The answer, he says, lies at the core of AFFOA’s activities: Innovators across the country will be invited to execute “advanced fabric” products on prototyping and pilot scales. Moreover, the center will link these innovators with funding from large companies and venture capital investors, to execute their ideas through the manufacturing stage. The center will thus lower the barrier to innovation and unleash product creativity in this new domain, he says. The federal selection process for the new institute was administered by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Manufacturing Technology Program and the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and Contracting Command in New Jersey. Retired Gen. Paul J. Kern will serve as chairman of the AFFOA Institute. As explained in the original call for proposals to create this institute, the aim is to ensure “that America leads in the manufacturing of new products from leading edge innovations in fiber science, commercializing fibers and textiles with extraordinary properties. Known as technical textiles, these modern day fabrics and fibers boast novel properties ranging from being incredibly lightweight and flame resistant, to having exceptional strength. Technical textiles have wide-ranging applications, from advancing capabilities of protective gear allowing fire fighters to battle the hottest flames, to ensuring that a wounded soldier is effectively treated with an antimicrobial compression bandage and returned safely.” In addition to Fink, the new partnership will include Tom Kochan, the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, who will serve as chief workforce officer coordinating the nationwide education and workforce development (EWD) plan. Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering Alexander Slocum will be the EWD deputy for education innovation. Other key MIT participants will include professors Krystyn Van Vliet from the Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering departments; Peko Hosoi and Kripa Varanasi from the Department of Mechanical Engineering; and Gregory Rutledge from the Department of Chemical Engineering. Among the industry partners who will be members of the partnership are companies such as Warwick Mills, DuPont, Steelcase, Nike, and Corning. Among the academic partners are Drexel University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Georgia, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Texas at Austin. In a presentation last fall about the proposed partnership, MIT President L. Rafael Reif said, “We believe that partnerships — with industry and government and across academia — are critical to our capacity to create positive change.” He added, “Our nation has no shortage of smart, ambitious people with brilliant new ideas. But if we want a thriving economy, producing more and better jobs, we need more of those ideas to get to market faster.” Accelerating such implementation is at the heart of the new partnership’s goals. This partnership, Reif said, will be “a system that connects universities and colleges with motivated companies and with far-sighted government agencies, so we can learn from each other and work with each other. A system that connects workers with skills, and skilled workers with jobs. And a system that connects advanced technology ideas to the marketplace or to those who can get them to market.” Part of the power of this new collaboration, Fink says, is combining the particular skills and resources of the different partners so that they “add up to something that’s more than the sum of the parts.” Existing large companies can contribute both funding and expertise, smaller startup companies can provide their creative new ideas, and the academic institutions can push the research boundaries to open up new technological possibilities. “MIT recognizes that advancing manufacturing is vital to our innovation process, as we explored in our Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) study,” says MIT Provost Martin Schmidt. “AFFOA will connect our campus even more closely with industries (large and small), with educational organizations that will develop the skilled workers, and with government at the state and federal level — all of whom are necessary to advance this new technology. AFFOA is an exciting example of the public-private partnerships that were envisioned in the recommendation of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.” “Since MIT’s start, there has always been an emphasis on ‘mens et manus,’ using our minds and hands to make inventions useful at scales that impact the nation and the world,” adds Van Vliet, the director of manufacturing innovation for MIT’s Innovation Initiative, who has served as the faculty lead in coordinating MIT’s response to manufacturing initiatives that result from the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. “What makes this new partnership very exciting is, this is for the first time a manufacturing institute headquartered in our region that connects our students and our faculty with local and national industrial partners, to really scale up production of many new fiber and textile technologies.” “Participating in this group of visionaries from government, academia, and industry — who are all motivated by the goal of advancing a new model of American textile manufacturing and helping to develop new products for the public and defense sectors — has been an exciting process,” says Aleister Saunders, Drexel University’s senior vice provost for research and a leader of its functional fabrics center. “Seeing the success we’ve already had in recruiting partners at the local level leads me to believe that on a national level, these centers of innovation will be able to leverage intellectual capital and regional manufacturing expertise to drive forward new ideas and new applications that will revolutionize textile manufacturing across the nation.” “Revolutionary fabrics and fibers are modernizing everything from battlefield communication to medical care,” says U.S. Congressmen Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.). “That the Commonwealth would be chosen to lead the way is no surprise. From Lowell to Fall River, our ability to merge cutting-edge technology with age-old ingenuity has sparked a new day for the textile industry. With its unparalleled commitment to innovation, MIT is the perfect epicenter for scaling these efforts. I applaud President Reif, Professor Fink, and all of the partners involved for this tremendous success.” The innovations that led to the “internet of things” and the widespread incorporation of digital technology into manufacturing have brought about a revolution whose potential is unlimited and will generate “brilliant ideas that people will be able to bring to this task of making sure that America stays number one in each and every one of these fields,” said Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) at the MIT event. “The new institute we are announcing today will help ensure that both Massachusetts and the United States can expand our technological edge in a new generation of fiber science.” A wide range of industries are expected to benefit from these revolutionary fibers and textiles, including apparel, consumer products, automotive, medical devices, and consumer electronics. “Fibers and fabrics are ubiquitous,” Fink says. “Our institute will go everywhere a fiber and fabric goes.”


Patent
Commonwealth of Massachusetts | Date: 2010-09-10

Methods of modulating the immune response using pharmaceutical compositions containing crystalline adjuvants are described. In various embodiments the crystalline adjuvants are selected from the group consisting of monosodium urate (MSU), xanthine, basic calcium phosphate (BCP), calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD), hydroxyapatite, calcium oxalate, cholesterol, lipid liquid, other crystalline lipids, lithium heparin, talc, and starch.


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has affirmed the 'AA+' rating on the following Commonwealth of Massachusetts federal highway grant anticipation notes (GANs)(accelerated bridge program): Massachusetts' federal highway GANs are secured by a lien on all federal highway reimbursements received by the Commonwealth. Additionally, the bonds have a secondary pledge of net Commonwealth transportation fund (CTF) revenues, after the payment of senior CTF bond obligations. SOLID DEBT SERVICE COVERAGE: Though the source of bond repayment is intended to come from federal highway receipts, the 'AA+' rating derives from a back-up pledge of CTF revenues, subordinate to payment of CTF bond debt service. The high 4x maximum annual debt service (MADS) additional bonds test (ABT) on senior CTF bonds mitigates overleveraging, strengthening the pledge of remaining receipts available to the federal highway GANs. DEDICATED REVENUES OFFER LIMITED GROWTH POTENTIAL: Pledged back-up tax revenues have shown relative stability over time, although Fitch believes the revenue stream has limited growth potential absent Commonwealth action to raise rates. The Commonwealth's legislature, the General Assembly, has increased rates periodically, including raising motor fuels taxes in 2013 and raising certain fees in 2014. BACKUP PLEDGE REQUIRES COMMONWEALTH APPROPRIATION: Use of CTF revenues for federal highway GANs debt service requires Commonwealth appropriation. However, should an appropriation not be provided, monies are frozen until debt service has been funded. STRONG AND WEALTHY ECONOMY: Massachusetts has a broad and diverse economy with the second highest personal income per capita in the nation. DEBT SERVICE COVERAGE: The rating is sensitive to the performance of pledged back-up revenues and the resulting strength of debt service coverage. LIMITED LEVERAGING OF CTF REVENUES: Additional leveraging of CTF revenues, beyond the current 4x ABT on senior CTF bonds, that weaken the back-up pledge likely would pressure the ratings. The 'AA+' rating on the Commonwealth's subordinate lien GANs reflects Fitch's view of the strong enhancement provided by net revenues from the CTF, after payment of senior gas tax bonds issued under a closed 1994 trust agreement and the CTF revenue bonds. Although bond repayment is intended to derive from pledged federal highway funds, the backup pledge of net CTF revenues mitigates the risk of a disruption of federal funding and is the basis for the 'AA+' rating. Federal highway GANs have been issued under the current subordinate lien by the Commonwealth since 2010 to support transportation capital needs. Bonds outstanding under a previous, senior GAN lien matured in June 2015. Coverage of subordinate lien GANs debt service by net CTF revenues would be ample in the event that pledged federal highway fund receipts were insufficient, despite the prior claims of bonds under two outstanding programs to pledged receipts. Special obligation gas tax bonds outstanding under a 1994 trust agreement have a first claim on 6.86-cents of pledged gas taxes. The last series of 1994 trust agreement bonds was issued in 2005 and the lien was closed in 2010 with the reforms that created the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and established the CTF. The remaining bonds mature in 2023. Fitch rates the outstanding bonds 'AA+'; Outlook Stable. Excess gas tax receipts after payment of the remaining 1994 trust agreement bonds, along with other pledged CTF receipts, are available to support CTF revenue bonds, of which approximately $1.6 billion is outstanding. Leveraging of CTF revenue bonds is limited by a 4x ABT. The Commonwealth has the flexibility to create a subordinate lien in the future, but has no such plans at this time. Net CTF receipts are collected in a holding account for subordinate lien GANs in the event that the Commonwealth Treasurer identifies at the start of the federal fiscal year that federal receipts will provide less than 1.2x coverage. Although transfer to the debt service account requires appropriation, net CTF receipts are not available for any other use until appropriation is made. Issuance of new subordinate lien GANs is limited by a 1.5x ABT by federal funds and a 2.5x ABT by net CTF revenues. Historically, CTF revenues have exhibited resiliency, but limited growth beyond the impact from statutory rate changes. The majority of revenues derive from the Commonwealth's 24-cent per gallon motor fuel tax, raised from 21 cents in 2013. The rate increase was forecast at the time to generate an additional $95 million annually in pledged revenues. Additionally, several fees collected by the Registry of Motor Vehicles are deposited to the CTF. In 2014, the General Assembly raised registration fees to $60, from $50, which was forecast to generate an additional $25 million annually in pledged receipts. Fitch views the willingness of the Commonwealth to periodically adjust rates to expand CTF resources to be a credit positive. Highway revenues are constitutionally pledged to transportation purposes, and debt service is a first claim on pledged revenues, with excess funds unable to be used for any transportation purpose until appropriation of sufficient debt service is made. Massachusetts has a fundamentally strong and wealthy economy. Institutions of higher education and health care are significant and lend stability, in addition to supporting development and innovation in other areas. At 128% of the U.S. average, per capita personal income is the second highest of the states. Education levels are high and population growth has approximated that of the U.S. during this decade, a marked improvement from historical experience and the performance of other states in the region. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. Fitch recently published an exposure draft of state and local government tax-supported criteria (Exposure Draft: U.S. Tax-Supported Rating Criteria, dated Sept. 10, 2015). The draft includes a number of proposed revisions to existing criteria. If applied in the proposed form, Fitch estimates the revised criteria would result in changes to fewer than 10% of existing tax-supported ratings. Fitch expects that final criteria will be approved and published by Jan. 20, 2016. Once approved, the criteria will be applied immediately to any new issue and surveillance rating review. Fitch anticipates the criteria to be applied to all ratings that fall under the criteria within a 12-month period from the final approval date. ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.


News Article | October 27, 2015
Site: www.businessinsider.com

FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors. Bankrate looked at the savable income, labor market, housing market, debt levels and access to financial services of America's 18 largest metropolitan areas and developed a ranking of the best places to build wealth. Houston took the top spot, coming in the top five in all categories aside from access to financial services. Rounding out the top three were Washington DC and Cleveland. Other notables included New York City (5), Chicago (10) and San Francisco (13). San Diego placed last on the list. Tesla sold 1,345 units in China during the three months ended September. Bloomberg reports, the results were the strongest ever for the third quarter. Tesla has seen steady sales growth throughout the year, registering sales of 797 units in the first quarter and 883 units in the second quarter. Recently, Elon Musk suggested sales in China will match the US in the next half-decade, or so. Savers are nowhere close to their goals (Financial Advisor) Older Americans saving for retirement are falling well short of their financial goals. A study released by Wells Fargo & Co. found working Americans over the age of 60 have an average of $50,000 saved for retirement, well short of their $300,000 goal. Americans in their late 50s aren't faring much better. Wells Fargo found the average 55 to 59 year old has saved up $150,000 towards their goal of $500,000. Additionally, 60% of Americans over 60 plan on working until at least 70 in order to make up for their shortfall, says Financial Advisor. 34% of respondents say the only way they can retire is by winning the lottery. 5 strategies to increase your social media presence (Think Advisor) Social media use continues to grow among financial advisors as it has become a great way to prospect and maintain relationships with clients. Robert Edgin, who represents American National Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates, shared five strategies with Think Advisor as to how those who are struggling to build their social media presence can boost their presence. Edgin says advisors should define their goals, share one message across all of the different social media platforms, leverage your centers of influence, ask for help if you need it and make your social media use part of your routine. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has charged Fidelity with dishonest and unethical behavior for allowing unlicensed brokers to place orders on its platform with both Fidelity and the brokers receiving commissions as a result. Investment News says a complaint filed by William Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth, said at least 13 unregistered advisors were allowed to use the platform over a 10-year period, and that one advisor generated $732,000 in fees over that time. “We do not believe that Fidelity has violated any laws or regulations in connection with this matter,” said Adam Banker, a Fidelity spokesman.

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