Category: The Forum

Checking Up On Health: March 31, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Buyer beware: A news article came across my desk this week alerting readers to a change by the nation’s largest health insurance company, Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare. In what could become expensive for patients, the insurer is changing the way it handles balance billing, which is the difference between the provider’s charge and what the insurer allows. The cost-cutting measure means UnitedHealthcare will not pay the bills of some emergency room physicians and other specialists, even though they work for hospitals in the UnitedHealthcare network. I learned the importance of checking the network status of all physicians involved a couple of years ago when I underwent a routine, scheduled… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release March 31, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Mercatus Study Finds Dire Consequences to Georgia CON Program Atlanta – Since 1979, Georgia has been one of 36 states and the District of Columbia to restrict the supply of health care through certificate-of-need (CON) programs that limit entry or expansion of health facilities, traditionally justified with the claim that they reduce and control health care costs. A study released today by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, however, finds serious consequences for continuing to enforce CON regulations, which restrict competition and choice. It reports that Georgia’s CON program is the 18th most restrictive in the nation, with 17 devices… View Article

Friday Facts: March 27, 2015

It’s Friday! Please note: FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of our donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, you can help with a tax-deductible contribution that advances our important mission. Click here. Quotes of Note “Not enough citizens are schooled well on the Constitution. Many can recite the Declaration of Independence, who signed, and list the Articles and Amendments, but lack a deep understanding of how these directly affect and protect the quality of our lives.” – Sue Horn Chappell (publisher/editor, StarNews of Caroll County) “[T]he not-so-hidden secret about occupational licensure laws is that they enable incumbent providers to protect their own incomes by locking newcomers and competitors out of markets by artificial government force.” – Walter View Article
The Federalist has published an article that highlights the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s role in bipartisan criminal justice reform in the state. It notes, “Georgia has distinguished itself as a front-runner on this issue. Although the overhaul of its justice system is far from complete, the Peach State has joined its Lone Star cousin as a success story that’s raising eyebrows across the nation. There’s something here for everybody to like. By reforming its corrections system, Georgia has already saved more than $20 million, with much bigger savings likely on the horizon. Its general inmate population is down, and juvenile detention rates have fallen even more. Through it all, crime rates have remained low.” The article continues: “I… View Article

Friday Facts: March 20, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 26: Foundation President Kelly McCutchen is a panelist at an Atlanta discussion on criminal justice reform in Georgia, hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. Find out more about, “From State in Crisis to Reform Leader: How Georgia’s Approach to Criminal Justice Is Impacting Well-Being,” at http://bit.ly/1b5eNTQ. Watch this space: The keynote speaker at the Foundation’s next event is Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Topic: “License to Work,” a focus on jobs, licensing and the role of government. Quotes of Note “Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.” – Edward R. Murrow The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” – James Madison Legislative update View Article
By Jeffrey Dorfman  JEFFREY DORFMAN Every member of the Georgia Legislature was elected this past November. Thus, one would expect those legislators to hold the citizens who elected them in high esteem; after all, they were wise enough to elect them, right? The next month or so will determine whether those legislators actually trust their voters to make independent decisions in the marketplace or they believe the citizens need to be protected from decisions elected officials don’t think we are capable of making on our own. Two bills before the Legislature demonstrate the choice before these politicians. One would allow craft brewers and brewpubs to actually sell beer for customers to take home; another would allow Tesla to sell cars… View Article

Checking Up On Health: March 17, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD I made the dreaded annual appointment with the dentist yesterday, and the scheduler asked me if I had a preference for a particular hygienist. “I can’t remember the name of the lady who did it last. Could you check for me?” “Please hold while I check. … It was ‘Suzie.'” “Thank you for checking. Anybody but her.” ObamaCare Confused? Make it work for you! Just in case you thought deadlines and suggested guidelines are, you know, different, you get a do-over! A special enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act will take place from March 15 to  April 30 for people who owe the ObamaCare tax/fee/penalty… View Article
Everyone loves rankings. While it’s very helpful to understand where you rank compared to your peers, it’s also important to make sure the comparisons are valid. When comparing state taxing and spending it’s important to account for two factors: cost of living and differences in state and local government roles. The cost of living in California, for example, is higher than in Georgia, so the salary for a similar government job will usually be higher in California. Therefore, comparing per capita spending between states can be misleading. This is why economists often prefer to compare spending as a percentage of state personal income. Combining state and local data is also important because some states, like Georgia, are very decentralized, with… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release March 13, 2015 Contact Kelly McCutchen at 404-256-4050 or kmccutchen@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Highlights Solar Energy and Sunshine Week Atlanta – Two years ago this week, Dublin High School in Laurens County broke ground on a solar panel array that was described as a trailblazer funding model and a moneysaver for the school. As she gathered information for an article marking the March 11 anniversary of the groundbreaking, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd gained a renewed appreciation for Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of the national initiative for open government and freedom of information that takes place next week (March 15-21). This screen shot shows that Laurens County’s court Web site for the… View Article

Friday Facts: March 13, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: The deadline is MONDAY to register for, “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online here. March 26: Foundation President Kelly McCutchen is a panelist at an Atlanta discussion on criminal justice reform in Georgia, hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. Find out more about, “From State in Crisis to Reform Leader: How Georgia’s Approach to Criminal Justice Is Impacting Well-Being,” at http://bit.ly/1b5eNTQ. Quotes of Note “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” – Frederick Douglass “The welfare state is the… View Article

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