Category: The Forum

Checking Up on Health

Health Policy Briefs: January 31, 2012 Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Price controls: Everence Insurance of Pennsylvania on Monday became the first insurer flagged by federal regulators for having an unreasonable rate increase. The insurer, a for-profit arm of the Mennonite Church USA, raised rates starting in September by 11.6 percent for its ShareNet policies covering 4,800 people working for small businesses in the state. Now the insurer has 10 days to either withdraw the increase or post on its Web site the reasons it finds the increase to be justified, Kaiser Health News reports. The growth of account-based health care plans: Employers first started offering account-based health plans in 2001, when a handful of employers began… View Article
Atlanta – The topic is “Education, Entrepreneurship, and How Technology is Transforming the World by Transforming Both,” as PayPal founder Dr. Rod D. Martin, an education philanthropist, keynotes a Georgia Public Policy Foundation Leadership Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, February 22, at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. Register to attend this event at http://tinyurl.com/7ldaqnk. Dr. Martin is a technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, hedge fund manager and conservative activist especially noted for his role as a senior member of the startup team at PayPal.com. PayPal, the Silicon Valley legend that has become the dominant payments provider on the Internet, was launched during the dot-com bust by a team whose average age was just 23 and amassed more than… View Article
(Dean Alford’s commentary is adapted from a panel presentation at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s January 25 Leadership Breakfast titled, “Breaking Down Barriers to High Quality Education in Georgia.”  Alford’s entire speech can be viewed on the Foundation’s YouTube site.) According to Complete College America, an organization funded by the Gates Foundation, of 100 Georgia ninth graders entering the ninth grade, 54 graduate. Twenty-seven go to our University System. Fourteen come back their sophomore year and six graduate.  Fourteen go to the Technical College System or two-year schools. Seven come back for their second year and three graduate. Let me give you some amazing facts. Those students who entered their freshman year – whether it be the University System or… View Article
Last week’s State Capitol hearing about whether voters should be allowed to decide school choice in Georgia had nearly concluded when this final question was posed:  In the event that no constitutional amendment is passed, and no other action is taken by the General Assembly, would the state be unable to intervene in any local school board decisions that are deemed to be harmful to children? The answer in a moment, but first here is some perspective.  Georgia thought it decided one aspect of school choice four years ago when the General Assembly created a charter schools commission, but last spring the state Supreme Court ruled the commission unconstitutional in a 4-to-3 opinion.  That vote has placed literally thousands of… View Article

Friday Facts: January 27th, 2012

It’s Friday! Quotes of note – “If we simply throw low-risk offenders into prison, rather than holding them accountable for their wrongdoing and addressing the source of their criminal behavior, they merely become hardened criminals who are more likely to re-offend when they are released.” – Georgia Chief Justice Carol Hunstein – “If Congress imposed a 100 percent tax, taking all earnings above $250,000 per year (the top 2 percent of income earners), it would yield the princely sum of $1.4 trillion. That would keep the government running for 141 days”  Walter Williams – “Be not intimidated, therefore, by any terrors, from publishing with the utmost freedom, whatever can be warranted by the laws of your country; nor… View Article

Transportation Briefs

 Transportation Round-Up Compiled by GPPF Vice President Benita Dodd Misguided, misinformed and missing: Committee meetings are almost ways more interesting than full board meetings, if you’re willing to sit and sift through the banter. Last week’s State Transportation Board committee meetings are case in point. – In a Legislative Committee discussion about pending metal theft legislation, it was revealed that the state Department of Transportation has had $30,000 worth of steel grates stolen, as well as 20,000 feet of wire – the kind used in wiring traffic lights, for example. – Then came a discussion about privatizing the state’s aviation services and the four King Air 90 aircraft the Georgia Aviation Authority currently uses for passenger flights. The… View Article
Mike Klein, GPPF Forum Editor This morning the conservative Tax Foundation released its comprehensive analysis of state tax structure policies that impact business growth.  The message for Georgia:  We Can Do Better.  Georgia is ranked No. 34 nationally, unchanged from one year ago.  Georgia lawmakers continue to struggle with how to enact comprehensive revenue neutral tax reform. The Tax Foundation annual report compares states against each other in five tax categories:  corporate, personal income, sales, unemployment insurance and personal property.  Georgia collects all five; some states do not.  With no personal income tax, Florida ranked fifth nationally.  Three states have no personal or corporate income taxes. Some states impose no sales tax. The Tax Foundation wrote, “The lesson is simple:… View Article
Congratulations!  Georgia Virtual School science department chair Asherrie Yisrael has been selected as a finalist for National Online Teacher of the Year.  The award has two sponsor organizations: the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). Yisrael was named  2010 – 2011 Georgia Virtual School Teacher of the Year.  Her specialties are advanced placement physics, forensic science and physical science.  Georgia Virtual School (GAVS) is the state Department of Education online learning program resource.   It has about 10,000 students who select online courses from a broad-based curriculum. Thirty-nine online teachers from 26 states were nominated for the SREB – iNACOL award.  The winner will be announced on March 1 during SREB’s… View Article

Checking Up on Health

                                           A Health Policy Checkup Supreme Court schedule for federal health care law case: For those who are interested in following the litigation regarding the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, here is a link to the timetable between now and the end of oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 28: http://tinyurl.com/6r9cdzf. There are four distinct questions before the Court: 1. Individual mandate: Whether Congress went too far in requiring all Americans to purchase and maintain individual health insurance. 2. Severability: The Severability Clause, language that describes the right to remove a line or portion of a bill without changing the rest, was not included in this legislation, so that if any part… View Article
Atlanta – The registration deadline for the Foundation’s first event of 2012 is today! If you haven’t yet registered, go tohttp://tinyurl.com/7ldaqnk today to sign up for “Breaking Down Barriers to High Quality Education in Georgia,” the Leadership Breakfast Celebrating National School Choice Week, 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. The panel discussion features Lisa Kelly, president of the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program; Dean Alford, president and chief executive officer of Allied Energy Services, and Lisa Gillis, president of Integrated Educational Strategies. Dean Alford , a former five-term Georgia state representative, is President and CEO of Allied Energy Services and chairman of the board of directors of the Technical College System of Georgia. From 2003 to… View Article

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Dan Amos, CEO, AFLAC more quotes