Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: July 8th, 2011

It’s Friday! Quotations – “A sure way to get America back to work and grow our economy is to lift the burden of debt that creates uncertainty among job creators and threatens the financial well-being of the United States. The quickest way to further stall economic growth is to raise taxes on American families under the guise of fiscal responsibility.” — U.S. Rep. Tom Price Taxes – Buckeye Tax Cuts: Ohio passed tax cuts this year eliminating the estate tax, reducing personal income tax rates from 6.2 to 5.8 percent and cutting property taxes by $1.7 billion. Source: Wall Street Journal Health care Argument for price transparencyPatients pay as much as 683 percent more for the same View Article

Rationing Care for Children in Medicaid and CHIP

Physicians experience much greater difficulty referring children in Medicaid and CHIP to specialty care, compared to privately insured children. On the basis of the physician survey, more than three times as many participating physicians—84 percent—experience difficulty referring Medicaid and CHIP children to specialty care as experience difficulty referring privately insured children—26 percent. For all children, physicians most frequently cited difficulty with specialty referrals for mental health, dermatology, and neurology. Full GAO report here. View Article
The next sound that you hear from the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal will likely be, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” Last August the Atlanta Public Schools Blue Ribbon Commission of very high profile corporate executives released its report that found no evidence of systemic cheating on 2009 school year state competency tests.  Now we know better and the story being told is absolutely repulsive. Lacking subpoena powers, two companies hired to create the investigatory work produced a 22-page report that substantially failed to answer questions that include:  What did Beverly Hall know and when did she know it?  Perhaps it was always too much to expect that a Blue… View Article

Why is There a Primary Care Physician Shortage?

This is Richard Posner, writing at the Becker/Posner blog: Third-party payment is a pervasive feature of American medicine. Why anyone should want health insurance other than “major medical”—that is, insurance against catastrophic medical bills—is a great mystery, as is the fact that Medicare subsidizes routine health care of upper-middle-class people. Since disease and injury tend to be unpredictable, health insurance smooths costs over time, which is efficient, but a person could achieve that smoothing simply by saving the money that he now pays in health-insurance premiums and investing it to create a fund out of which to pay future health expenses as they occur. But we are stuck with third-party payment, and it systematically favors specialists over primary-care physicians,… View Article

A Florida Judge Proposes Cheaper and More Effective Alternatives to Juvenile Detention

Irene Sullivan worked nine years as a juvenile court judge in Florida. During her tenure in St. Petersburg she witnessed heartbreaking scenes of incarcerated youth, but she also saw alternative sanctions that resulted in genuine success stories. Sullivan has meticulously researched these programs, and…… View Article
Another interesting report from the National Center for Policy Analysis: About 5 percent of the population is responsible for almost half of all health care spending in the United States and for rising premium rates, according to a new report from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, says the National Journal. The report stated about half of the U.S. population accounted for only 3.1 percent of all expenditures. But 10 percent of the population hogged 63.6 percent of all health spending, the survey found. The top 5 percent of the population accounted for 47.5 percent of all spending, and the top 1 percent accounted for 20.2 percent. While the average person incurred about $233 in costs in… View Article
From the National Center for Public Analysis: The federal government’s deficit usually rises during recessions, and the depth of the last recession contributed to the red ink.  However, the rise in the deficit this time was extraordinary.  Why did the federal deficit increase so much more during and after this recession than during and after previous recessions? A new paper from the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation (IRET) examines the 10 U.S. recessions since 1950. It concludes that an upsurge in federal spending is the primary reason for federal deficits of a magnitude not seen since World War II. [Emphasis added.] The federal government was running a budget deficit prior to the recession that officially began in… View Article

Ohio Passes A Major Reform Package

This week Governor John Kasich is expected to sign a monumental piece of criminal justice legislation into law, The Plain Dealer reports. The bill, which drew significant support from both parties, will send low-level nonviolent…… View Article

Georgia Tests a New Method of Parole Reporting

It is well-understood that parole is less expensive than incarceration, but the state of Georgia is now testing a new program to make parole even more cost-effective. The state has expanded its parole population by 10% in the past ten years, and this has led to…… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been doing important work for the free enterprise movement for the past 20 years.  I can assure you from the vantage of a non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C. with much the same principles as GPPF that the work we do simply would not be possible if it were not for the important work that GPPF does.  We see it, we understand it, it is an inspiration to us, it is the kind of thing that will translate into the important work that we can do in Washington, D.C.  We thank you very much for that.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2011) more quotes