The Daily Free Press Year xliii. Volume lxxxiv. Issue XIX NOT COOL, MOM Over-involved parents could lead to depression, page 3. [ Wednesday, February 20, 2013 The Independent Student Newspaper at Boston University GETTING GREEK ] www.dailyfreepress.com CATS AND DOGS W. basketball beats UNH, expandin their streak, page 8. Alternative Greek groups helps students branch out, page 5. WEATHER Today: Mostly sunny/High 36 Tonight: Partly cloudy/Low 21 Tomorrow: 36/27 Data Courtesy of weather.com Pro-life student group protests abortion with silence Governor Patrick’s HEATHER GOLDIN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF Members of Boston University’s Right to Life hold a pro-life protest at Marsh Plaza Tuesday. By Margaret Waterman Daily Free Press Staff Members of Boston University’s Right to Life student group gathered at Marsh Plaza Tuesday bearing signs in protest of abortion. The group’s intention was to honor lives lost to abortion since 1973’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade by participating in a day of silence, said Right to Life President Brad Agostinelli. “We want to stand for life and truth on our campus,” Agostinelli, a College of Arts and Sciences senior, said. “Get the word out there, get people thinking ‘is abortion actually permissible?’ A lot of times people just write it off because they know it’s an inflammatory issue, but they don’t really think about it.” Ten demonstrators carried signs with statistics about abortion and pregnancy among college students and children. The protesters wore red duct tape over their mouths, emblazoned with the word “life.” Agostinelli said the tape symbolized the lack of voice children have. “As much as we want to do what we think is best, they [children] don’t have the choice to choose life for themselves,” he said. “This is in solidarity with all the children who have been silenced due to, specifically, the legalization of abortion in the U.S.” Olivia Haywood, a CAS junior who passed teh demonstration, said it was interesting Right to Life chose to voice its opinion by being silent. She said she perceived the group’s choice of location as significant to its cause. “They did it because it is in front of the church, in front of Marsh Chapel and goes with the views of the church that abortion should not be used,” she said. “That’s important for this cause and it’s the only logical place for them to have this demonstration.” Haywood said the protesters likely are not representing the majority of opinion on campus with their pro-life message. “I assume because it’s a liberal college, a lot of students believe in abortion in certain circumstances,” she said. “Most people are in favor.” Maggie Swanson, a College of Engineering freshman who witnessed the protest, said she supports the group members in their efforts to speak their minds, as it is Eight people were charged Feb. 13 for allegedly defrauding MassHealth, the state Medicaid program for Massachusetts, of $260,000 by falsely billing for services not provided to them, officials said. “MassHealth is a critical program that provides health insurance for some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Mass. Attorney Gen. Martha Coakley in a press release. “The brazenness of the fraud committed in these cases is particularly troubling. The defendants allegedly stole more than $260,000 from taxpayers, diverting resources from those who truly need it.” The accused people include five former personal care attendants and three surrogates, including Amarilis Pirela, Marcy Keegan Grenache, Daniel Keegan, James Lynch, Holly-Beth Riopel, Abel Vega and Alan and Jacqueline Morrissette, accord- ing to the release. Individuals are being charged for billing MassHealth for fraud schemes. In various instances the accused allegedly provided timesheets for someone who was incarcerated, someone who was out of the state and traveling extensively and charging for services for a person who was dead, according to the release. Alec Loftus, communications director to the secretary of Health and Human Services, said PCAs are providers for someone in need of simple health care services, and the individual is able to choose a person to provide these services. If the individual is unable to pick their PCA, he or she may designate a surrogate to act on their behalf. Loftus said the PCAs and surrogates are the ones who could commit fraud to the MassHealth program. “MassHealth regularly looks for irregularities in its systems, and when By Zoe Roos Daily Free Press Staff MassHealth noticed these irregularities, we immediately referred them for investigation,” he said. “These programs are critical for helping those with disabilities and chronic illnesses who live independently in their communities. It’s sad when people try to take advantage of these people.” Christopher Thompson, press secretary to the State Auditor, said the people accused were indicted in court last week and the court process is individual for each case. In order to discover fraud in the state’s Medicaid system, MassHealth checks irregularities and generates reports, which then are referred to the Bureau of Special Investigations, Thompson said. The Bureau’s auditors then refer the reports to the AG’s office for investigation if warranted. “In a case like this, a report would be sent to the State Auditor either from Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick spoke to state legislators Feb. 13, asking them to support his reformed tax plan which would generate an additional $1.9 billion annually for the Commonwealth. The plan was met with mixed responses. Patrick addressed a crowd outside the State House and asked them to consider the financial future of the Commonwealth. “We must — each of us — sacrifice a little today so that we may all share in a better and stronger tomorrow,” he said. Glen Shor, secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, who works to manage Massachusetts’s finances and worked closely on preparations for the budget recommendation, said the increased taxes would not be put into place immediately. “The tax will take effect midway through fiscal 2014,” he said. “So the full $1.9 billion on an annual basis will not occur until fiscal 2015.” Shor said higher earning income groups would carry the majority of the financial burden of the new tax plan. “Households that make $60,000 or less, which is about half of all Massachusetts residents, will pay about the same or less,” he said. “Households that make $200,000 or more will experience an increase.” The revenue from the tax increase would go toward improving various state infrastructures, including transportation and education, Shor said. “The revenue would help to modernize and strategically expand the underserved parts of the transportation system,” he said. “The revenue would also go toward investing in early education and public college as well as investing in programs to make college more affordable.” Patrick said in a statement Wednesday some of the revenue would aid the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which is suffering from a $140 million budget gap that must be corrected by April 15. “I have proposed one series of ideas,” he said. “And I am open to others, but what I am not open to is doing less that what’s Medicaid, see page 2 Taxes, see page 2 Protest, see page 2 8 charged for defrauding Massachusetts Medicaid program By Sarah Oppenheimer Daily Free Press Contributor proposed tax hikes polarize politicians College Scorecard to increase availability of higher ed. info., rates BU’s cost ‘high’ By Holly Bieler Daily Free Press Contributor Boston University students and faculty said they find the College Scorecard, a new U.S. Department of Education online tool with information on higher education costs, to be helpful for prospective and current college students. The White House and Department of Education unveiled the College Scorecard following U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union promise for an easier means by which to gauge the value of a university degree, according to a Thursday press release. “Students have a right to know about cost,” said Margaret Miller, president emerita of the American Association for Higher Education. “The piece that’s always missing from these things though is the most important piece, which is what kind of learning occurs.” The database allows users to search for a college’s annual tuition, graduation rate and loan information. “The whole idea of the college scorecard is to provide information so consumers can make the best decision for their circumstances and preferences,” said Jane Glickman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, in an email. The average net price for undergraduate students at BU is $29,899 per year, according to the College Scorecard. This cost is rated as ‘high’ on the Scorecard’s scale. However, average net price for BU decreased 1.7 percent from 2007 to 2009. BU students borrow an average of $264.68 a month to pay for tuition, according to the report, which was also rated ‘high.’ The database also shows 84.7 percent of BU students graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years, which is rated as a ‘high’ graduation rate. BU graduates defaulted on student loans at a rate of 1.5 percent after three years, compared to the national average of 13.4 percent. BU averaged lower than Northeastern University in all four categories, according to the Scorecard, see page 2 SOURCE FROM COLLEGE SCORECARD GRAPHIC BY MICHELLE JAY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF The College Scorecard, an interactive tool to gather and compare information on colleges, debuted Wednesday.