Quotes of Note
“Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 1816
“[O]zone levels are getting so low that a rapidly growing share of even urban areas’ ozone concentration now comes from either naturally occurring ozone or from ozone that has been transported from other states or countries. We have reached the point at which significant further reductions simply cannot be accomplished in any cost-effective manner. Absent recognition of this fact from the EPA, it is time for Congress to modernize the Clean Air Act.” – National Association of Manufacturers
“This Ebola situation frightens me. And the slow response is frightening the American people. We don’t need to get to the point where the American people are losing confidence in our ability to stay ahead of this.” – Georgia Rep. David Scott
Ebola: The deadly Ebola virus has replaced the Affordable Care Act as the nation’s hottest health care topic. In the wake of numerous faux pas by health care officials, physician Kevin Campbell reinforces Benita Dodd’s recent “Checking Up On Health” post recommending action to prevent the disease establishing a foothold here. “We must act rather than discuss. We must prevent rather than respond,” Campbell writes.
CON jobs: Thirty-six states – including Georgia – have laws that keep new and improved equipment as well as new hospitals out. These certificate-of-need (CON) laws basically bar health care providers from offering new services or new medical equipment without approval from the state. Unless a proposal shows an area needs the proposed equipment or services, it is unlikely to be approved. Source: USAToday.com
Expanding Medicaid, expanding costs: The federal government reports that hospitals’ uncompensated care costs – expenses related to treating the uninsured, mostly in ERs – are expected to drop about $5.7 billion this year. The bulk of the reduction, about 74 percent, is expected to occur in states that chose the ObamaCare option to expand Medicaid. But those supposed savings come at a significant cost, the Reason Foundation reports: The startup tab for ObamaCare is $73 billion-plus so far.
Expanding regulations: The University of Georgia hosts its second annual Medical Device Regulations conference in November, on “issues related to strategic implications of FDA device regulations.” In a 2013 commentary for the Foundation, Tim Lusby described the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax as, “the most ill-conceived federal sales tax law.”
Choosing to celebrate: It’s about 100 days to the annual celebration of National School Choice Week 2015 and already 6,000 independently planned events are scheduled! This year’s Foundation celebration came on the morning of IceJam on January 31; unfortunately, the subsequent rally on the steps of the Capitol that day was canceled.
Pre-sumptuous: President Obama and supporters have called for the establishment of universal preschool programs. But are the programs worth the $50 billion cost? No, says a Cato Institute study released this week, citing studies demonstrating, “the academic benefits of preschool programs are quite modest, and these gains fade after children enter elementary school.”
Georgia’s unemployment numbers: September’s 7.9 percent jobless rate is lower than last month’s 8.1 percent, despite 7,300 jobs lost. One economist sees a reason for optimism: It means more people are looking for jobs instead of giving up.
Shaping up: The Port of Savannah has been in the news lately, but don’t forget the Port of Brunswick, which had a record-setting year and is now second only to Baltimore in auto and machinery shipping. Source: Jacksonville.com
Eat more chicken: Georgia will benefit from the World Trade Organization’s decision to strike down India’s seven-year ban on imports of U.S. poultry products. Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle
Corporate inversion: Ten years ago, companies were fleeing Britain’s high tax rates and worldwide tax system. Today, companies are fleeing high-tax countries and relocating in Britain. A Tax Foundation study finds a lesson: “Lawmakers in the U.S. would do well to … move swiftly to lower our corporate tax rate – the third-highest in the entire world – and replace our outmoded worldwide tax system with a modern territorial system.”
October 15, 2004: Writing in, “Take Off Rose-Colored Glasses and See Suburbia,” Benita Dodd noted: “The successes of Gwinnett and so many other metro Atlanta counties depend on visionary leadership that acknowledges that that the good old days weren’t exactly that good, then focuses on accommodating the future instead of acquiescing to thwart the quality of life of the vast majority who choose the suburbs.”
November 18 event canceled: Due to health issues, Chris Barbic, superintendent of the Tennessee Achievement School District, is unable to keynote the Foundation’s scheduled Leadership Breakfast. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to reschedule when his health improves.
October 23: “The Future of Elections and Democracy: A Public Conversation with Federal Election Commission Vice Chair Ann Ravel,” takes place at Emory University School of Law’s Tull Auditorium. The public forum begins at 6 p.m. and will feature opening remarks from Commissioner Ravel, the FEC’s top Democrat and incoming chairperson. Brief statements from a panel of “local experts” will be followed by an opportunity for members of the public to address Ravel. Attend to address your concerns about government encroachment on free speech, invasion of privacy, voter intimidation and the right to support the causes you believe in. Information and registration here.
October 28: The Atlanta Jewish Academy hosts a free panel discussion by the Jewish Policy Center, “The Middle East Erupts: What Does It Mean and What is Our Strategy?” at 7 p.m. Speakers are Jonathan Schanzer, Michael Eisenstadt and Lee Smith. More information at email@example.com.
Web site of the Week: At http://fee.org/the_freeman/ you can read articles from The Freeman, the flagship publication of the Foundation for Economic Education and “one of the oldest and most respected journals of liberty in America.”
Social media: Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? More than 2,350 of our friends get daily updates on news and policy views as well as event alerts; more than 1,250 follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!
The Forum: Read recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.