Friday Facts: June 16, 2017

It’s Friday!

Remembering the Heroes

Many lives were likely saved by the actions of Crystal Griner and David Bailey, the Capitol Hill police officers who were on duty when Rep. Steve Scalise and others were shot on a baseball field this week in Virginia. Here in Georgia, Georgia Department of Corrections officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue were killed by inmates in a prison escape. As we keep these individuals and families in our thoughts and prayers, let’s also remember the many other public servants who stand ready every day to step into danger to keep us safe.

When Hank McCamish founded the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in 1991, he encouraged us to focus on ideas and not to attack individuals. After the violence of this week, it’s more important than ever for us all to redouble our efforts to eliminate personal attacks and find constructive ways to debate public policy.

Quotes of note

“Understanding uncertainty associated with the complex, nonlinear and chaotic climate system, let alone managing it, is a very challenging endeavor. Hence it is tempting for scientists and policy makers to simplify uncertainty to make it appear that the appropriate considerations have been undertaken.” – Judith Curry


Onerous: Gardendale, Ala., made national headlines after it was learned a professional lawn company had threatened to report a 15-year-old for mowing lawns for extra money because she had no business license. Until June 5, the town required everyone to obtain a business license, which costs $110. The outcry led Gardendale to pass an ordinance exempting full-time students from needing to obtain a business license for part-time jobs. That includes mowing lawns as well as running lemonade stands and babysitting. Source: Institute for Justice

Criminal justice reform

Done wrong: The Vera Institute for Justice, which promotes criminal justice reform, reports that California’s prison population and prison staff declined but “prison spending rose $560 million between 2010 and 2015, primarily because salary, pension and other employee and retiree benefits continued to increase, also a result of union-negotiated increases.” Source: California Policy Center

Health care

Federal reform: A new study shows the proposed per capita Medicaid caps may not be so drastic after all.

  Medicaid Per Capita Allocations Under AHCA Compared With CMS Baseline                                   
Per capita spending 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
CMS baseline $8,889 $9,327 $9,802 $10,312 $10,853 $11,433 $12,078
AHCA $8,966 $9,397 $9,862 $10,351 $10,862 $11,406 $12,016
Exceed AHCA Allocation? NO NO NO NO NO YES YES


Shrinking Options: Georgia is one of many states with significant area covered by only one (yellow on the map below) insurance carrier on its exchange. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services



Bad DealOnly about 1 out of 5 Georgia teachers will break even on their pensions – meaning they will get more out than they have put in – according to a new study published by Harvard University. Source: Education Next

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In June 10 years ago the Foundation published, “Reforming SCHIP: Using Premium Assistance to Expand Coverage.” It noted, “Premium assistance in SCHIP would help transition working families into private coverage and be a stepping stone for future changes to the overall health care system.”


Foundation in the news: Kelly McCutchen was quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the DeKalb school board’s refusal to publish its $1 billion budget.

Social media: The Foundation has 3,226 Facebook “likes!” Our Twitter account has 1,743 followers at Follow us on Instagram, too!

Visit to read this week’s commentary, “Five Ways the Senate Can Improve Health Care Reform.”

Have a great weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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