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Quotes of note
“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” – Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, message to the troops before the D-Day invasion, which began June 6, 1944
“What is true of high-stress spelling bees is true of workplaces and investments and college applications and entertainment: People do not randomly sort themselves out by color, background, and sex. Group disparities are not, as a rule, evil. They are normal, the result of a myriad of human choices, preferences, interests and motivations.” – Jeff Jacoby, “Non-Diversity and the Spelling Bee”
“[I]t is truly a tragic state of affairs when free speech and free inquiry require protection at most institutions of higher learning. Indeed, it has been freedom in the marketplace of ideas that has made the United States, as well as other western nations, leaders in virtually every area of human endeavor. A monopoly of ideas is just as dangerous as a monopoly in other areas of our lives such as monopoly in political power and the production of goods and services.” – Walter Williams
June 13-15: Join FEEcon, the Foundation for Economic Education’s third annual conference at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. Talks, practical skill-building and networking with movers and shakers from across the globe. Registration and information: feecon.org/.
Mark your calendar! The 2019 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum takes place Friday, November 15, at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta. The theme, a play on Georgia’s motto of “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation,” is “Wisdom, Justice, Mobility.” Details to follow; click here to view video coverage of previous events.
Energy and environment
More power to nuclear: Around 55% of the nation’s carbon-free energy is generated by nuclear power, Matthew Wald of the Nuclear Energy Institute notes, and it happens around the clock. When units 3 and 4 are operating at Plant Vogtle, near Augusta, Wald pointed out, “they will produce more than half of the energy produced by all the solar in the United States.” He added: “Solar has a [generation] capacity of 14 to 15% due to weather and daylight, and wind varies by location with a capacity of about 35%. Last year, nuclear reactors ran at a capacity of more than 92%.” Source: Cape Cod Times
Fueling bad policies: Despite evidence 15% ethanol fuel, known as E15, is bad for the environment, especially in the summer, the Trump administration has approved its use year-round. President Trump had indicated he would expand ethanol availability to aid farmers hurt by his trade war with China. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the rule change in March, even though E15 had previously been banned during summer months because studies found that when the fuel burns at higher temperatures, it can lead to smog, particularly in urban areas. Source: The Patriot Post
Leading polluter: China has been earning accolades for apparent efforts to clean up pollution, but an international team of scientists reports eastern China is largely responsible for a surge in emissions of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFC-11) since 2013, even though the chemical has been banned globally for 30 years. Source: Science Daily
Moving fast: Last week, the Foundation released a study on potential federal healthcare waivers for Georgia. This week, the Kemp administration selected Deloitte Consulting as the winner of an almost $2 million consulting contract to develop healthcare waivers for Georgia’s Medicaid program and the private insurance market. Source: Georgia Health News
PriciER: The average emergency room visit cost $1,389 in 2017, up 176% over the decade, according to the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). It found that hospital ERs not only substantially increased prices for care from 2008 through 2017, but hospitals and doctors also billed for more complex care, collecting more lucrative fees from consumers, employers and private insurers. HCCI did not include extra charges such as blood tests, IVs, drugs or other treatments. Source: USA Today
Convenience: After successfully piloting its HealthHub stores in Houston, CVS has announced plans to open 1,500 such stores by the end of 2021, including stores in Atlanta this year. HealthHubs are CVS’ redesigned health-focused concept stores that have space to provide assistance with chronic conditions as diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Each has an expanded clinic, a lab for blood testing and health screenings, and wellness rooms equipped to handle yoga classes and seminars.
Centers of Excellence: Through its Centers of Excellence program, Walmart partners with health systems that have demonstrated appropriate, high-quality care and outcomes for defined episodes of care. The program bundles payments for the costs of certain procedures, meaning the $514 billion retailer bypasses insurers and works directly with health systems. Among the 16 facilities it has selected is Emory HealthCare in Atlanta, Becker’s Hospital Review reports.
Role models? Black students in charter schools are about 50% more likely to have a same-race teacher than their black counterparts in traditional public schools, according to a Fordham Institute study that found the positive effect of having a same-race teacher is twice as large in charter schools as in traditional public schools. It also found that within charter schools, the effect on academic outcomes of having a same-race teacher is about twice as large for nonwhite students as for white students.
YouTube: Did you miss the May Policy Briefing Luncheon with David French of National Review Institute? View his speech, “You Can Say That,” here on the Foundation’s YouTube channel, along with other events.
This month in the archives: In June 15 years ago, the Foundation published, “Transit’s Not the End of the Line for Low-Income Residents.” It noted, “A concerted effort to inexorably tie public transportation and low-income communities ignores residents’ desire to conquer transit dependence. Transit is no ticket to freedom.”
Have a great weekend.
Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd
FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help advance our important mission by clicking here. Visit our Web site at www.georgiapolicy.org. Join The Forum at https://forum.georgiapolicy.org/.
I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation. For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work. As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature. We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us. To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)