Category: Facts

By Medicaid needs reform, not expansion. This federal–state health care program provides health care to over 60 million Americans and consumes a growing portion of state and federal budgets. Research shows a long history of Medicaid enrollees having worse access and outcomes than privately insured individuals.[1] Due in part to low reimbursement, one in three doctors refuses to accept new Medicaid patients.[2] Despite access issues, Medicaid spending continues to grow. In 2010, total federal and state spending on Medicaid exceeded $400 billion.[3] Instead of reforming Medicaid, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) expands eligibility to all individuals earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).[4] The Medicaid program is… View Article

Atlanta Streetcar Costs: Up, Up and Away

First it was to cost $72 million, $47.6 million of it from a federal government grant. In April 2013, the estimated cost of Atlanta’s 2.6-mile streetcar line to $99 million. (Watch for it to go even higher!) The official Streetcar site estimates that operating the streetcar will cost $1.7 million annually in 2013 dollars. (It also lists capital costs at $92.6 million.) Back in 2012, the federal government put the annual operations cost at $2.6 million. But WSB-TV in Atlanta reported this week that the price is now 70 percent higher than original estimate: Operations are now projected to cost $4.4 million. Read Benita Dodd’s recent op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Streetcar: http://www.georgiapolicy.org/transit-relic-wont-help-transportation/#ff_s=n82x.… View Article

ER Costs vs. the new model of Direct Primary Care

The cost of the average ER visit is $969. Cost of primary care for a year under a new model: $600 to $720 a month for adults, with lower fees for children, according a New York Times report. In this new model, called Direct Primary Care (DPC), “patients pay a monthly flat fee directly to a personal physician—cutting out the insurance companies—to cover primary care, is known as concierge care. Long existent as a niche market, it has been derided as an elitist model for the rich and never seriously considered as a health reform for the general population.” In “Concierge Care for the Little Guy,” Jordon Bruneau, describes the practice of Dr. Lee Gross: For $83 a… View Article

Increase sought in Ga. Tax Credit Scholarships

School choice: The $58 million donation cap for Georgia’s tax-credit scholarship program was reached just 22 days into the new tax year. As a result of this overwhelming demand to help Georgia parents choose private education, legislation has been introduced in the Georgia General Assembly to increase the cap to $100 million. By comparison, Florida’s tax-credit scholarship program, the nation’s largest, is capped at $286.25 million. It was established in 2001. Find out more about school choice in the nation in, “School Choice in the States January 2014,”  the Friedman Foundation’s latest brief. Find out how you can volunteer your contribution to school choice through the Georgia Tuition Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Learn more about the Georgia… View Article

Georgia Dodges a Renewable Energy Bullet

Robert Bryce, senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, writes in The Wall Street Journal of February 2, 2014, that for years, greens and many on the political left have insisted that widespread adoption of renewable energy will create jobs and stimulate the economy. Now, however, both the European Union and the German government have announced separately that they are rolling back aggressive subsidies and mandates for renewable energy. “The reason: staggering costs. Spain has racked up some $35 billion in debt—known as the “tariff deficit”—thanks to excessive renewable-energy subsidies. In Germany, renewable-energy subsidies are now costing German consumers and industry about $32 billion a year. The costs have become so onerous that on Jan. 21 Germany’s economy and energy minister… View Article

Outsourcing of School Support Services

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Michigan School Privatization Survey 2013 , released last week, finds that 357 of Michigan’s 545 local school districts (65.5%) contracted out for at least one of the three main non-instructional services — custodial, food, and transportation — in 2013, a figure that has more than doubled since the Center began publishing its annual study in 2001. The survey found that 45.5% of districts contracted with private companies for facilities maintenance and other custodial work, followed by food services at 36.5% and transportation at 21%. “Every dollar saved through privatization is a dollar that can be redirected toward the classroom where it belongs,” according to the Mackinac Center’s James Hohman. The full report is available View Article

New Funding Model Improves Student Achievement

“One of our very promising findings suggests that the larger the share of a district’s budget that goes directly to the schools on a per-student basis, the better the performance,” says Katie Furtick, co-author the Reason Foundation’s Weighted Student Formula Yearbook. According to the report, Weighted Student Funding (WSF) “is a student-driven rather than program-driven budgeting process. It goes by several names including results-based budgeting, student-based budgeting, “backpacking” or fair-student funding. In every case the meaning is the same: dollars rather than staffing positions follow students into schools. In many cases, these resources are weighted based on the individual needs of the student.” It is likely that the Weighted Student Funding model will be examined closely by Georgia next… View Article

Upward Mobility Has Not Declined

A new study finds that the odds of moving up the income ladder are the same today as they were 20 years ago, says the New York Times. The findings contradict widespread claims that a person’s chance for upward mobility is lower today than in the past. The study also examined another report by researchers who had observed children born between 1952 and 1975. Combining those results indicates that intergenerational mobility rates have been steady for the last 50 years. Absolute mobility — the measure of a person’s income compared to his parents’ — has also improved in recent years. Median family income is close to 12 percent higher today than it was in 1980, meaning that most adults… View Article

Analyzing Education Spending

Education funding has taken center stage in Georgia political discussions. What do the numbers show? It is clear there are many Georgia school systems in difficult financial shape due to a combination of state spending reductions, declining property tax values and inadequacy of the state’s education funding formula, which was created in 1985 and may be replaced next year. Critics note the billions of dollars of state “austerity cuts” that have occured since 2003. This is the difference between the funding level determined by the state’s funding formula and the amount actually funded. In order to put this in context it is important to look at the actual numbers over time and to compare Georgia’s education funding to other states.… View Article

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.)

Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones more quotes