Quotes of note
“There is a place for government in the affairs of men, and our Declaration of Independence tells us precisely what that place is. The role of government is to protect individuals in their God-given individual rights. Freedom is the natural birthright of man, but all that government can do in behalf of freedom is to let the individual alone, and it should secure him in his rights by making others let him alone.” – Rev. Edmund A. Opitz
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.” – Frederic Bastiat (1850)
“People of solid character don’t spend money they don’t have year after year. They don’t send the bill to generations they don’t even know yet. That is not just bad economics, it is extraordinarily, shamefully bad character.” – Lawrence Reed
Food for thought: A total of 31 states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare. Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute reports that in 2015, age-adjusted mortality rose and life expectancy declined for the first time since the early 1990s and mortality rose more in Medicaid expansion states. “Despite implementation of the ACA, there were 80,000 more deaths in 2015 than had mortality continued to decline during 2014–15 at the same rate as during 2000–2013.”
Upfront co-pays: Thomas Memorial Hospital in Charleston, W.Va., plans to charge upfront co-pays to patients who visit its emergency room for non-emergency care, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports. About 30 percent of patients in the ER receive care for non-urgent conditions. The upfront co-pay will help offset the bad debt the hospital incurs providing care to the uninsured and underinsured. Read the Foundation’s commentary on the hospitals’ unfunded ER mandate.
Who’s uninsured? About 44 percent of Georgia’s 1.38 million uninsured individuals are under age 29, and 61 percent are under age 40, according to a Foundation breakdown of the numbers.
Poor no more: America’s jobless rate is at a 15-year low, but only 55 percent of Americans ages 18-64 have full-time jobs, writes Peter Cove in The Wall Street Journal. Nearly 95 million people have removed themselves entirely from the job market. The welfare state is largely to blame, and the solution is to attach work requirements to benefits to reduce government dependency, Cove concludes.
Academia gone rogue: In a whistleblower lawsuit, Duke University admitted its in-house investigators believe a former lab tech falsified or fabricated data that went into 29 medical research reports over eight years. Duke and some professors are accused of using the phony data to fraudulently obtain federal research grants and trying to cover up the fraud. The grants compromised were reportedly worth $112.8 million to Duke and $120.9 million to other institutions. Source: Raleigh News & Observer
Alternative certification: A 2010 federal grant funded the Teaching Fellows program, training 1,200 professionals and recent college graduates and designed to fill vacancies in urban districts and to improve persistently low student achievement. Trainees participated in a six-to-eight-week pre-service training program and a yearlong in-service training program. The outcome? Their students performed similarly to students taught by comparable teachers, and fellows demonstrated similar classroom instructional practice to comparable teachers. Source: American Institutes for Research
This month in the archives: In July 10 years ago the Foundation published, “Muni Wi-Fi: No Wires, Plenty of Strings for Taxpayers.” It noted, “By the time a government gets a Wi-Fi system financed, procured and installed, it is already out of date and obsolete. The costs of maintaining and updating the network on a citywide level would be massive.”
Foundation in the news: WSB-TV’s Richard Belcher interviewed Benita Dodd about MARTA’s pending takeover of the Atlanta Streetcar; the interview was shared by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB Radio and Tim Bryant of WGAU. The Foundation’s research on work requirements reducing food stamp rolls in Georgia was cited in a Fox News commentary. Benita’s commentary on the erosion of civil discourse was published in The Columbia News-Times. Kelly McCutchen was interviewed by Georgia Public Broadcasting on the Senate health care legislation.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Senate Health Care Bill Begins to Address Unfairness to Georgia,” by Kelly McCutchen.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)