Category: Issues

Five Facts Favoring Education Choice in Georgia

By Benita M. Dodd Given the state’s progress since Georgia’s first charter school was approved 20 years ago, it would seem unnecessary to have to remind policymakers and parents of the importance of choices in education. With the turnover under the Gold Dome, however, policymakers risk losing the lessons learned – the hard-won institutional knowledge – that reinforce the need for choice for Georgia’s families. In November’s elections, Democrats took 14 seats held by Republican legislators, shrinking the GOP majority. Republicans picked up three, giving the Democrats a net gain of 11. Those numbers, of course, are not as important as the fact there are more novice legislators and, with the antagonism toward choice displayed by many Democrats, likely more… View Article

Pearl Harbor Day: A Reminder to Remember

By Pat Stansbury “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt It was a quiet Sunday morning in beautiful Oahu, Hawaii. Without warning, the peaceful residents in paradise awakened in shock and terror as all hell broke loose around them. The first wave began at 7:53 a.m. with Japan’s order to attack. By 8 a.m., the majority of U.S. fighter planes were destroyed. Torpedo attacks lasted 11 minutes, followed by bombers that attacked the USS Arizona’s magazine, causing devastating explosions. The second wave came at 8:40 a.m. Another 167 enemy aircraft attacked.… View Article
Georgia Public Policy Foundation CEO Kyle Wingfield testified about health care opportunities for Georgia before the House Rural Development Council at its December 4, 2018, meeting in Dahlonega. View his presentation, beginning at the 4:01:00 mark, here: https://livestream.com/accounts/25225474/events/7618751/videos/184370579. View the slides from his presentation here. http://www.house.ga.gov/Documents/CommitteeDocuments/2018/HRDC/Dahlonega/Wingfield_GPPF_RDC_Waivers.pdf. Read the Trump administration’s new report, “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition,” at https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/Reforming-Americas-Healthcare-System-Through-Choice-and-Competition.pdf. View Article
By Jen Sidorova Georgia’s students deserve fiscally responsible public education management, but chronic underfunding of teachers’ pensions is putting that at risk. Over the past three years alone, legislators had to reroute over $600 million away from other budget priorities to make additional payments into the state’s retirement system for teachers. As of today, public education employees have been promised $25 billion more in pension benefits than Georgia is expected to have available to fully pay its obligations. Each year, a certain amount of money needs to be contributed to the pension fund in order to pay promised benefits. The required contributions has been steadily increasing – reaching 21 percent of total payroll as budgeted for 2020 – escalating the… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Georgia’s uninsured rate was 13.4 percent in 2017, the fourth-highest in the nation, according to the Census Bureau. People without health insurance who need ongoing medical care have few options. Their frequent decision to use the emergency room for non-emergencies is financially overwhelming for all involved and imposes a heavy burden on a health-care delivery system not intended for that purpose. Heightened awareness of this challenge led to the creation of the Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett 13 years ago. It grew out of an eye-opening experience for several Gwinnett County physicians who volunteered in 2003 at a free health fair in the parking lot of a low-income housing complex. Expecting to see mostly healthy… View Article

Opportunity Lost Now that Congress is Divided

By Ryan Young A divided Congress probably means the status quo will reign on regulation. This is a mixed bag from a free-market perspective. President Trump made some positive reforms upon taking office, but they were via executive order, and can be easily overturned by a future president – Congress needs to pass legislation to give reforms any staying power. Barring a lame-duck miracle, that won’t happen now. Republicans blew a rare opportunity. President Trump’s executive order reforms include a one-in-two-out rule for new regulations, and a requirement for agencies to add zero net regulatory costs – a de facto regulatory budget, which the Competitive Enterprise Institute has been advocating for more than 20 years. Agencies are not… View Article
By Ronald E. Bachman The purpose of insurance is to purchase protection before the onset of a problem. You can’t buy hurricane insurance when a named storm is headed your way; an imminent claim from a known “pre-existing condition” precludes the purchase of coverage. Health insurance is different. Pre-existing conditions are prevalent. Some are born thus; many acquire chronic conditions and others deal with the normal disabilities of aging. By analyzing medical records and policy application information, health insurance companies determine whether individuals or groups seeking health coverage have a pre-existing sickness or illness. This is called “risk selection.” Insurers have the power to exclude anyone from purchasing needed health coverage. In the past, many abused this power, “cherry picking”… View Article

Georgia’s Economic Freedom: Mostly Better

GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release October 31, 2018 Contact: Benita Dodd, Georgia Public Policy Foundation benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org | (404) 256-4050  Georgia’s Economic Freedom: Mostly Better Atlanta — Georgia’s national ranking in the Economic Freedom of North America is unchanged over last year, at No. 7 in the 2018 report released by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and Canada’s Fraser Institute. This year, Florida overtook New Hampshire to achieve the No. 1 spot for overall economic freedom among all the states. They are followed in rank by Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, Virginia and Georgia, respectively. For the fourth year in a row, New York was ranked least free (50th), followed by Kentucky (49th), West Virginia (48th), California (47th)… View Article
Reporter Newspapers published an op-ed on October 26, 2018, solicited from Benita Dodd, vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation: ‘Marsy’s Law is a solution in search of a problem.’  Access the op-ed online at  www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/10/26/commentary-marsys-law-is-a-solution-in-search-of-a-problem/; the op-ed is reprinted below in its entirety. The Nov. 6 ballot includes, as Question 4, a proposed state constitutional amendment that “provides rights for victims of crime in the judicial process.” The Reporter Newspapers asked two advocates to explain the pro and con arguments on the question, which is commonly known as “Marsy’s Law.” For the commentary supporting the amendment, click here. Commentary: ‘Marsy’s Law is a solution in search of a problem’ By Benita Dodd November ballots… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is the best source of the rarest and most valuable commodity in public policy debate: facts.

State Representative Bob Irvin more quotes