November 1, 2013
Quotes of Note
“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” – President Obama, June 2009
“[Fifty] to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a ‘cancellation’ letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law.” NBC News, October 29
“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln
What he really meant: To counter accusations that President Obama lied when he told Americans they can keep their health insurance plans if they like them, the administration has claimed that he was referring to the millions of people covered by their employers. A new Forbes article reports, however, that administration officials predicted in 2010 that 93 million Americans would have their plans cancelled as a result of ObamaCare, including a vast amount of those with employer-sponsored plans.
Avoiding ObamaCare: A poll conducted by the New York State Medical Society finds 44 percent of physicians said they are not participating in ObamaCare. Another 33 percent say they’re still not sure whether to become ObamaCare providers. Only 23 percent of the 409 physicians queried said they’re taking patients who signed up through health exchanges. “This is so poorly designed that a lot of doctors are afraid to participate,” said Dr. Sam Unterricht, president of the 29,000-member organization. “There’s a lot of resistance. Doctors don’t know what they’re going to get paid.” Source: New York Post
How did we get here? As the turmoil and higher costs due to the Affordable Care Act become more evident, it should be remembered that one of the central reasons for reform revolved around people with pre-existing conditions who were being turned down by insurance companies. Those with pre-existing conditions are less than 1 percent of the population, and much less expensive and more effective solutions to that problem exist. Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
Street vendors swept aside: Rather like Ahab and the white whale, the city of Atlanta has been obsessed with running street vendors out of business. Back in 2009, Atlanta handed over all street vending to a multi-billion-dollar corporation. With a city-backed monopoly, rent skyrocketed from $250 a year to almost $20,000 a year. Unable to afford these exorbitant rents, 16 vendors lost their jobs. The city continues to ignore court orders to accommodate the vendors, the Atlanta-based Foundation for Economic Education reports. Read the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s news release on the issue, “Mayor Reed, Tear Down This Fence.”
November 9: The Americans for Prosperity Georgia Foundation’s Middle Georgia Freedom Conference takes place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Warner Robins; our own Benita Dodd is a panelist at the conference. Find out more and register at http://middlegafreedomconference.eventbrite.com/.
Pumpkin Tax? Another reason for tax simplification: Iowa taxes retail sales but exempts groceries (as does Georgia). Pumpkins used for decoration should have been taxed but were slipping by because they were also food. So in 2007 Iowa tax officials sent a bulletin to retailers, reminding them to quiz customers on whether they were buying the pumpkin to eat (not taxable) or decorate (taxable)! Source: Tax Foundation
Who’s paying the taxes? The income tax code is more progressive today than it was 20 years ago. The top 1 percent of taxpayers pays a greater share of the income tax burden than the bottom 90 percent combined, which totals more than 120 million taxpayers. Source: Tax Foundation
Georgia’s gas tax per gallon is the 21st highest in the nation. Source: Tax Foundation
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The Foundation’s Twitter account is closing in on 1,100 followers! Get your Foundation news at twitter.com/gppf. The Forum: This week in The Forum, the Foundation’s blog, Foundation Editor Mike Klein challenged the Governor’s Digital Learning Task Force to come forward with bold ideas rather than just safe ideas when its report is due this month; read the testimony submitted by Benita Dodd at a federal Environmental Protection Agency listening session, in which the Foundation opposed proposed carbon pollution standards at existing coal-fired power plants. Also, Richard DeMillo, director at the Georgia Tech Center for 21st Century Universities, discussed the exponential potential of MOOCs, or massive open online courses and Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias shares his pride in America, in an excerpt from his stirring address to the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. Find these and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Some Food for Thought on Organic Foods,” by Harold Brown.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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