Quotes of note
“No Wall of words, no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.” – George Washington (1798)
“The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn’t work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.” – Thomas Sowell
“We can continue to deride urban areas, but they are the areas that are growing … [T]hat is where the work, opportunity, and affordable housing areas reside. We need not abandon the issues we regularly focus on, but we need to include issues that affect urban voters: unaffordability, over-regulation, zoning, poverty and transportation. We need to address these in an earnest way, in which we stop speaking down to those who choose to live in cities and begin to explain how free-market and limited government policies can uplift and free people.” – Charles Blain
Results: Georgia’s election tally drags on in courts. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled this week that all counties must accept absentee ballots without correct birth dates but not absentee or provisional ballots cast in a different county than where a voter is registered. In the gubernatorial race, Republican Brian Kemp continues to maintain his lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams, who refuses to concede. Source: News reports
Special session: In a special session that began November 13, legislative budget writers approved a request by Gov. Nathan Deal for $270 million to help offset the damage wreaked in Georgia by Hurricane Michael last month. Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle
Congratulations: Kudos to Foundation Board Chairman Rogers Wade, who will serve in 2019 as vice chairman of the 19-member Georgia Board of Regents, governing body for the University System of Georgia. Regent Don L. Waters will be the board’s chairman.
Condolences: Georgia House Rules Committee Chairman John Meadows passed away this week after a battle with stomach cancer. He was elected to the House in 2004 after serving as mayor of Calhoun for 13 years. Our sincere condolences to his friends, family and colleagues.
Flying high: The Wall Street Journal pegged Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport No. 4 in its first “Best of the Biggest U.S. Airports” ranking. Denver, Orlando and Phoenix were ahead; the bottom three spots of the 20 ranked all went to New York City-area airports. The rankings scored 15 categories, from on-time reliability to longest walk.
Choice: A 54 percent majority of the public supports school vouchers for all students, according to the 2018 12th annual EdNext Poll. Opposition to vouchers has fallen from 37 percent to 31 percent. Approval for vouchers targeted to low-income families was at 43 percent, unchanged from 2017. African-American (56 percent) and Hispanic (62 percent) respondents are more supportive than whites (35 percent).The survey was conducted in May and is published in the Winter 2019 edition of EducationNext.
Atlanta’s out: New York City and Arlington, Va., will be Amazon’s “HQ2” locations. “Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations,” the online retailer announced. A new Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville, Tenn., will create more than 5,000 jobs. Georgia offered incentives of more than $2 billion to lure the company.
Bad prescription: A Trump administration plan to deal with the high cost of prescription drugs compared to the price of the same drugs in other developed countries is a surrender to price controls, writes Ryan Ellis in the Washington Examiner. He points out the price disparity is caused when other countries impose socialized medicine price controls on prescription drugs, while the U.S. price charged is closer to the true market price of the product. “Unfortunately, rather than fighting the socialists, the president has decided to become one with them – at least when it comes to prescription drugs.”
Who’s insured? Health insurance rates stayed steady in the first half of 2018, according to new data from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just under 9 percent of people, or 28.5 million people, did not have coverage in the first six months of the year. Broken down by age, 12.5 percent of adults and 4.4 percent of children were uninsured during that time. The age group most likely to lack insurance: adults ages 25 to 34. Source: STAT Morning Rounds
Walk free: Hundreds of thousands of UnitedHealthcare customers who participate in the Motion health rewards program can now “walk off” the cost of an Apple Watch, essentially getting a $300 version of the device for free. Since 2015, the insurer’s Motion program has provided rewards to those who walk more than 10,000 steps a day. Source: CNBC.com
Have surgery, will travel: Walmart employees will have to use certain hospitals for costly spine surgeries as the retailer works to weed out unnecessary procedures and lower its health-care spending. Since 2013, Walmart, which is self-insured, has offered to pay travel and surgery costs for employees who use hospital systems known for their quality. Beginning in January, this will be mandatory. Source: Wall Street Journal
This month in the archives: In November 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “Road to Congestion Relief Leads … Somewhere Else.” It noted, “Congestion, while a sign of a thriving economy, reaches gridlock and drives away investors. Overcoming community opposition to added capacity is a challenge, but with delays impacting their quality of life, more Georgians are demanding that policy-makers ‘do something.’ Time is short; money is even shorter. It’s critical to do the right thing. State officials must plan regionally, prioritize projects and partner with the private sector.”
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “A Good Samaritan Clinic Dedicates Care to Low-Income Patients,” by Benita M. Dodd.
Have a great weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving!
Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd
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I thank you for what you do. For 15 years you’ve been researching and writing on issues that matter. You take on tough questions, you apply innovative thinking, you push for action, and you do it all without regard to politics.