Category: The Forum

Legal Opinion: Health Care Reform Is Struck Down Immediately in Georgia

Speaking at the Georgia State Capitol this week, Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Robert Alt clarified that Judge Vinson's ruling serves as the equivalent of an injunction, immediately striking down the law in Georgia and the other 25 states participating in the lawsuit.… View Article

New Study Shows Medicaid Expansion Could Outstrip Georgia’s Primary Care Capacity

Georgia ranks second in a new study by the The New England Journal of Medicine on the challenges of serving Obamacare’s dramatically increased Medicaid population. "Eight states – Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nevada, North Carolina, and Kentucky – face the greatest challenges. These states are expected to have large Medicaid expansions yet now have weak primary care capacity. In the absence of additional efforts, the demand for care by newly insured patients could outstrip the supply of primary care providers in these states."… View Article

Criminal Justice Reform Has Bipartisan Support

Larry Peterson reports in the Savannah Morning News: Gov. Nathan Deal says he's moving ahead to reduce Georgia's prison population by diverting non-violent drug offenders to other programs. Deal touted the idea – already being implemented in some parts of Georgia, including Chatham County – in his Jan. 10 inaugural speech. "One out of every 13 Georgia residents is under some form of correctional control," he said. "It costs about $3 million per day to operate our Department of Corrections." A 2009 national report said drug-related crimes were listed as the primary offense for about 17 percent of Georgia's prisoners. Deal has made it clear he's not interested in springing repeat or violent offenders. But locking up non-violent offenders… View Article

Poor, elderly and disabled could benefit if health care law overturned

Who will be hurt the most by the health reform legislation Congress passed last year? The most vulnerable segments of society: the poor, the elderly and the disabled, according to Dr. John Goodman.  Goodman's economic analysis of the outcome if the law is implemented: Thirty-two million otherwise uninsured people will try to double their consumption of medical care. Almost everyone with private insurance and all Medicare enrollees will try to increase their consumption of preventive services — promised without deductible or copayment. With no increase in supply, doctors and patients will face a huge rationing problem. There will be up to 900,000 additional emergency room visits and the time price of care (rationing by waiting) will jump substantially at every… View Article

Audit Finds Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism and Save Taxpayers Money

WABE reports: "The 40-page 2010 state audit finds about seven-percent of defendants who participate in a county drug court were convicted again within two years. That's one-fourth the recidivism rate compared to those who served their sentence at a state prison. Expanding drug courts, the Department of Audits and Accounts report shows, could save the state $8 million compared to the cost of incarceration. And that's only if 20% of eligible offenders participated. The problem — only about half Georgia's counties are served by a drug court. In metro Atlanta, Clayton, Douglas, Paulding, and Cherokee counties are among those without drug court access."… View Article

Mark your calendar: Jay Greene talks school choice on March 5 in Atlanta

School choice champion Jay Greene's highest priority is expanding the number and quality of education choices that parents have for their children. Greene was among the group of education policy leaders from across the nation interviewed by Reason.TV to highlight National School Choice Week. Watch the video here: Jay Greene on Making Schools Better . Then mark your calendar and watch for details of a March 5 breakfast event hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation with Greene, author of the widely acclaimed book, "Education Myths" (2005). About Jay Greene: Greene is department head and 21st Century Chair in Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. Greene conducts research and writes about education policy, including topics such as school choice, high school graduation rates,… View Article

Clearing the Path for Competency-Based Learning

We now have the technology to enable students to learn at their own pace with instruction delivered digitally that is customized to each child's learning style. In a competency-based approach, each child moves from one standard to another only when they have mastered the current standard. This type of approach can "dramatically increase graduation rates for students that are falling off the track toward a diploma," according to "Clearing the Path: Creating Innovation Space for Serving Over-Age, Under-Credited Students in Competency-Based Pathways," a study published by iNACOL. Unfortunately, state policies often stand in the way. Seat-time requirements and other one-size-fits-all regulations limit the flexibility needed to address each child's needs. Georgia should immediately focus on removing these… View Article

Excellent article by Walter Russell Mead

Please take a couple of minutes and read this outstanding article on the political and economic impact of charter schools (much less their impact on actual education!) by Walter Russell Mead. It is perhaps the best written article I have read about the multiple ways charters can and will change our country. Let me know what you think!… View Article

State Spending Limit Proposed

One of the biggest challenges of Georgia's proposed tax reform is avoiding 1) a tax increase or 2) a shortfall in taxes when your rainy day fund is almost empty. Taxpayers are rightly skeptical that elected officials will reduce taxes if revenues come in higher than expected. Of course, one of the reasons we are in this mess is we spent too much money during the good times. Looking at total funds, spending increased by $4 billion from 2006 to 2008. From 2009 to 2011, spending still increased $650 million. The solution? A reasonable spending limit that would limit the high spending during good times and prevent dramatic cuts during recessions. This would also provide taxpayers a sense of security… View Article

Finally, a one volume resource from an independent source that gives those of us in public life a new view on which to make public policy.

Governor Roy Barnes more quotes