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Friday Facts: May 14, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane Through the years, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has presented the Freedom Award to  Georgians who have exemplified the principles of private enterprise and personal integrity. The photograph shows the 1995 recipient, Griffin Bell. The first recipient was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1993, two years after the Foundation was established. The most recent was Georgia businessman, philanthropist and motivational speaker Sunny K. Park, in 2020. This year the Foundation celebrates 30 years of Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives. Quotes of note “Too … Continue Reading →

Georgia Public Policy Foundation Welcomes Governor Kemp’s Plan to Get Georgia Back to Work

Today, Governor Brian Kemp announced Georgia’s plan to join several other states in ending pandemic-related additional unemployment payments. 

A Post-COVID Return to Normal

By Kyle Wingfield The calendar flipped to May and, in my world at least, folks began to party like it’s 2019. In the past week, I’ve been to a restaurant where the waiters didn’t wear masks, a 40th birthday party with people who (gasp!) I didn’t even know, and a dinner event with a few dozen people. All credit to the warp-speed vaccines and the companies that developed them. Now, if you live in many parts of Georgia not called Atlanta, you may wonder what took so long. I have … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: May 10, 2021

Nonprofit vs. for-profit hospitals. Which would you prefer? Do you even know the difference? Let’s test your knowledge. A hospital system’s reports gross earnings of more than $3.3 billion. Its president earned more than $4.8 million. For-profit or non-profit? In fact, it’s Northside Hospital, a nonprofit hospital whose IRS 990 form from 2017 notes: “In furtherance of its charitable mission, Northside invested in the continued growth, expansion, and increased access to these vital program services.” Let’s look at another. This hospital reported gross earnings of $1.3 billion and paid its … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: May 07, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane The Friday Facts traces its beginnings to the days of the facsimile machine, or fax. As shown in this 2004 edition, it was initially called the Friday Fax and sent only to Foundation members. Thanks to the internet, today the Friday Facts is accessible to anyone with a computer or smartphone, and is archived on the Foundation website. Sign up here today to get the Friday Facts in your mailbox. Founded in 1991, the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary this year! Quotes of note “Note, besides, … Continue Reading →

Education Options Move Forward Around the Nation

By Kyle Wingfield Being focused primarily on what happens in Georgia, it can be easy to miss important developments elsewhere. But when it comes to expanding educational options, other states keep rubbing it in my face. Our General Assembly did pass some modest improvements to school-choice programs this year, expanding the Special Needs Scholarship to additional students and moving public charter schools closer to funding parity with other public schools. But the largest proposed expansion, a bill to create education scholarship accounts, advanced out of the House Education Committee but … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: May 3, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A man goes to the doctor and says, “Doctor, wherever I touch, it hurts.” The doctor asks, “What do you mean?” The man says, “When I touch my shoulder, it really hurts. If I touch my knee – OUCH! When I touch my forehead, it really, really hurts.” The doctor says, “I know what’s wrong with you. You’ve broken your finger!” I share that to share this: Vitiligo is … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: April 30, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Certificate-of-Need regulations, which govern competition in the healthcare industry, have long been discarded by the federal government. Since its founding in 1991, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has railed against the protectionist regulations, as this 1992 article (right) demonstrates. Georgia continues to enforce them, stifling much-needed competition across the state. Quotes of note “The First Amendment is a protection of the people against the government; it begins with the words ‘Congress shall make no law.’ That’s why the courts have consistently stated that the First Amendment … Continue Reading →

Georgia’s Spring Real Estate Boom

By Kyle Wingfield The spring real-estate season is upon us, and prices are blooming – er, booming. The Georgia Association of Realtors reported the state’s median home selling price in March was $260,000, almost 12% higher than a year earlier. For single-family homes, the figures were slightly higher. Within metro Atlanta, the real-estate firm Re/Max reported March figures of just over $309,000 for the median home selling price, up a whopping one-sixth from a year ago. The explanation across the board is fairly simple: too little supply. Listings of existing … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 26, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. In February 2021, Scott W. Atlas of the Hoover Institution spoke at a Hillsdale College event. Here’s an excerpt of his speech, from Hillsdale’s Imprimis publication: The COVID pandemic has been a tragedy, no doubt. But it has exposed profound issues in America that threaten the principles of freedom and order that we Americans often take for granted. First, I have been shocked at the unprecedented exertion of power by the government since last March – issuing … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: April 23, 2021

It’s Friday! Get the facts: Friday’s Freshest: In the latest Georgia Policy commentary, Senior Fellow Ron Bachman proposes that a potential roadmap for health reform can be found right in your garage: “Auto insurance has paved the way for health reform to follow. Nobody has suggested auto insurance is liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. Auto insurance is bipartisan and non-partisan, universally available and mandatory in all but two states (Virginia and New Hampshire). … “The basic principles everybody accepts and welcomes in auto insurance, then, are choice, rewards and … Continue Reading →

Tallying the Cost of the Student Debt Narrative

By Kyle Wingfield College students in Georgia got good news this past week, as the Board of Regents froze tuition and fees at the state’s public colleges and universities for the second year in a row. The news also helps explain why a popular national narrative about college costs and student debt is so wrong-headed. The regents’ decision means in-state tuition and fees for a semester at the state’s most expensive public college, Georgia Tech, will remain $6,426. That’s just under $13,000 for a traditional, two-semester academic year, or about … Continue Reading →

Education Information: Useful Data or Data Overload?

By Cindy Morley Investigative Journalist for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Many agree that parents make the best decisions about their child’s education when they have reliable data: information they can use to compare the quality of school instruction, school climate, class sizes and more. So what do parents really need to know about school performance to make the right decisions? While education experts disagree on exactly what information to make available to parents and family members, they all agree the key to making the right decisions for their children … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 19, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Cat Stevens first sang, “The First Cut is the Deepest.” But last week’s second COVID-19 vaccination suggested the first shot’s not the hardest. In fact, as it did many other Americans, the second Moderna shot knocked me for a loop. It’s not just Moderna that has such an effect, of course. Others have been hit hard by the Pfizer vaccine. Both shots, as I have mentioned in an earlier post, are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. A Sacramento … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: April 16, 2021

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “One single object … [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.” – Thomas Jefferson (1825) “Market approaches based in property rights and trade can align incentives in ways that create environmental benefits. Rather than fighting over tax credits or emission standards, our efforts are better spent supporting innovation and efficiency through markets. This Earth Day, it’s time to get creative with conservation and look to market approaches that reward lasting outcomes that are good for the … Continue Reading →

Georgia Public Policy Foundation Names External Affairs Manager

Hayley McCloud has joined the staff of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation as External Affairs Manager. McCloud comes to the Foundation from the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State, where she had worked since July 2019, most recently as Legislative Director. Her previous positions include Special Projects Coordinator at the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia; Senior Manager of State Affairs for the American College of Rheumatology, Political Field Representative for the Georgia Association of REALTORS®; and Legislative Correspondent/Field Representative for (then) U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia. “We’re excited … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 12, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Now that the Trump administration is gone, it seems it’s once again OK to mention COVID-19 and China in the same breath. You may recall the virus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, and spread across the world. According to Worldometer, more than 137 million people have been infected by COVID-19 since it was first reported by China in December 2019; the death toll is closing in on 3 million. Mainland China has reported just 4,636 deaths among … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: April 09, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Education options for Georgia’s children have been a primary focus of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation since its early days, as seen in this article from 25 years ago. This year, as the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary, the state has come far since 1996: Nearly 70,000 students are enrolled in 96 public charter schools, and the General Assembly has approved legislation that improves student funding for charters. Quotes of note “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His … Continue Reading →

Analyzing Senate Bill 202

By Kyle Wingfield The 2021 legislative session is over, and the most-discussed legislation concerned election reform. While dozens of these bills were introduced, only Senate Bill 202 cleared both chambers. Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law on March 25. Much of what’s been said about this bill has been inaccurate. Rather than opining about it, I’m simply going to summarize the most important changes. Early voting: For primary and general elections, early voting will continue to begin about three weeks before Election Day. After proposals to reduce early voting … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 5, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Thundering herd immunity: A single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection by 80% while the full, two-dose regimen reduced the risk of infection by 90%, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For comparison, the effectiveness of the annual influenza vaccine in preventing infection ranges between 10-60%, according to a 2019 influenza report from the Council of Economic Advisors. The study “raises the … Continue Reading →