Friday Facts: July 21, 2023

President Joe Biden is poised to take health coverage away from millions of people, per a new report. His administration is deriding these plans as “junk” because they are free from federal mandates for what insurance must cover and free from restrictions on how insurance must be priced. The reality: These plans, dubbed short-term plans, are not subject to Obamacare rules and are thus much more affordable and flexible for families.

In 2018, the Trump administration permitted people to have a short-term plan for up to 36 months, subject to state regulations. This new rule saved families money on health insurance, increased access to health care, and reduced the number of the uninsured. It also did not harm the Obamacare markets. Reports suggest the Biden administration will reverse this progress and restrict short-term plans to just a three-month duration.

Doing this will reduce the number of benefits families receive from short-term plans, harm people who get sick and increase the number of people without health insurance.

How have Americans benefited from the vast availability of short-term plans?

We have details in this week’s commentary

Get your tickets 🎟️

Join us on September 12 as we kick off the Georgia Freedom Series with Matthew Continetti, author of “The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism.” The lunch will be held at Park 82 in Atlanta. Our special early-bird price for tickets for the lunch is just $45. But you have to purchase your tickets before prices go up on August 1. Stay tuned for more details about the rest of the speaker series. 


Friday’s Freshest 🍑

What should lawmakers do with another budget surplus?

Georgia lawmakers could soon have an extra $10 billion on their hands. Those who favor larger government spending are redoubling their calls to increase taxpayer-funded services, as if the good times will never end. But what do current trends show and what path should lawmakers follow?

📺 WATCH: Not the time to expand state spending

House holds Certificate of Need reform hearings

Speaker Jon Burns kicked off the bipartisan committee by imploring members to approach this topic with an open mind, follow the facts and ultimately propose recommendations that will improve access to quality, affordable healthcare.  

📺 WATCH: How CON laws limit healthcare access in Georgia

Some Georgia officials hide documents, steal taxpayer money and can’t do basic math

A former clerk at the Spalding County Tax Commissioner’s Office has been arrested on theft charges after she allegedly took other people’s hard-earned tax money and used it on herself. That story, and more, in our monthly compilation of waste, fraud and abuse in Georgia. 

What are we waiting for?

There is a dire need for actual solutions that benefit as many students as possible, and research has already identified one of those solutions. The only question is, what are we waiting for?

The Latest 📻


Braves executives say it’s business as usual following spinoff from Liberty Media

Atlanta Braves executives say business will continue as usual under a new ownership structure following a spinoff from Liberty Media. Perhaps most notable is fans can purchase stock in the newly created Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc. and become owners of the team.

Atlanta area has the nation’s second-highest inflation

Despite potentially encouraging job and unemployment news, inflation remains a top concern for many Georgia businesses. A new WalletHub analysis of the 23 major cities found inflation in the Atlanta metro area is rising at the second-fastest rate in the nation.

Georgia Supreme Court green-lights Rivian EV plant

The Georgia Supreme Court has cleared the way for automaker Rivian to build an electric vehicle manufacturing plant east of Atlanta. The justices declined to hear an appeal challenging the $5 billion project’s bond agreements with the state and the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton counties. The plant will create 7,500 direct jobs, not counting the indirect jobs various suppliers will generate.


Labor market’s sudden shift towards skilled trade workers

Many employers desperately need skilled labor or trade workers, as the industry sees double-digit growth in demand for services. Since the beginning of 2023, nearly 95,000 employers nationwide have posted more than 770,000 job openings seeking skilled employees , according to new data.

The sibling discount ends for college financial aid

Parents paying tuition for two or more children in college stand to lose some financial aid under new government rules. That is because the new federal financial-aid formula will no longer take family size into account.

Biden forgives $39 billion in student loan debt

President Joe Biden’s administration announced last week it would forgive $39 billion in student debt for more than 800,000 borrowers. Under these plans, borrowers could have their remaining loan balances forgiven after making payments for 20 or 25 years, depending on factors like the type of income-driven repayment plans and loan type.

Government Accountability

New Georgia Bureau of Investigation director named

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has a new director. Gov. Brian Kemp announced that Chris Hosey, who currently serves as assistant director of the GBI, will head the department after a unanimous vote by the Board of Public Safety.

Senators want data on how SNAP money is spent

U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, introduced the SNAP Nutrition Security Act to help improve SNAP recipients’ diet quality and also collect data on SNAP purchases to determine how those recipients spend taxpayer dollars. The bill would require tracking and reporting on how SNAP benefits are used.

A win for the First Amendment, and a loss for partisans who want to weaponize censorship

A federal court ordered Joe Biden’s White House and a bevy of federal agencies and officials not to pressure social media platforms to delete or suppress broad categories of information, including posts on the pandemic, the 2020 election, and Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Property Taxes

Cobb citizens plead for property tax millage rate relief

In Cobb County, tax assessments are, on average, 18% higher than last year. Because neither the Board of Commissioners nor the Board of Education is “rolling back” to match last year’s revenue collections, Cobb County homeowners’ property tax bills will increase significantly.  

Savannah-Chatham school board approves millage rate, resulting in higher taxes

The Savannah-Chatham County School Board adopted a millage rate without the rollback rate, and that will force local property taxes to rise. With property values increasing, that translates to a 10% increase in property taxes – which is an increase of around $157 a year for a home valued at $250,000.

Local legislators, leaders address property tax concerns in Cherokee

Cherokee County leaders and state lawmakers met recently in downtown Woodstock. Residents had a chance to voice their concerns over rising property tax assessments and discuss solutions to rising property taxes.

Quotes of the Week

“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort. It’s choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy. It’s choosing to practice your values rather than simply professing them.” – Brene Brown

“The deep critical thinker has become the misfit of the world, this is not a coincidence. To maintain order and control you must isolate the intellectual, the sage, the philosopher, the savant before their ideas awaken people. – Carl Jung

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

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