Quotes of note
“When we’re dealing with big, intrusive government, we need to forget about good intentions. Instead, let’s focus on how it adversely impacts people at the lower end of the income spectrum.” – Ed Feulner
“It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare.” – Edmund Burke (1769)
“The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.” – Edmund Murrow (1964)
Medicaid: Nationally, seniors and people with disabilities account for 23 percent of Medicaid enrollment but 64 percent of spending in the program because of their greater needs, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Unsustainable: Costs per Medicaid enrollee newly eligible through states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act were 27.7 percent higher than those for other Medicaid adults in 2015, according to the Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. In estimated average benefits for 2015, children in Medicaid received $3,389, those “non-newly eligible” adults received $4,986, and newly eligible adults received $6,365.
School rankings: Last week’s Friday Facts shared the U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best High Schools rankings. Nat Malkus of the American Enterprise Institute warns of the flaws in the rankings, however, and proposes that, “[H]igh schools whose students make the most progress are the ones that should be deemed the best and imitated, not the ones that use selectivity to get the best outcomes.”
Dropped lines: The second six months of 2016 was the first time a majority of American homes had only cell phones, according to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). It reports 50.8 percent of households had no landline telephone but did have at least one cell phone. More than 70 percent of adults ages 25-34 and adults renting their homes were living in wireless-only households. Interestingly, 3.2 percent of households have no phone at all, which leads us to wonder: How were they contacted?
Taken for a ride: Don’t buy the claims of record transit ridership, Randal O’Toole writes in NewGeography: “America’s urban population more than doubled between 1956 and 2014. Using the ridership number that really counts – trips per urban resident – 2014’s number was a near-record low of 41 trips per person.” Despite increasing, massive subsidies, the general ridership trend is downward. “To a large degree, this downward trend is because the subsidies have made transit agencies more responsive to politics than transit riders,” O’Toole points out.
This month in the archives: In May 25 years ago the Foundation published, “The Do-Nothing Legislature.” It noted, “The Georgia State Constitution says that ‘[A]ll government, of right, originates with the people, is founded on their will only … Public officials are trustees and servants of the people and are at all times amenable to them.’ If only our legislature would remember this.”
Foundation in the news: The Heartland Institute quoted Kelly McCutchen in an article on expanding dental care access through midlevel providers. Conservative columnist Kyle Wingfield of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cited the Foundation in an article on recent changes at the Heritage Foundation: “It would be hard to overstate how much the Heritage Foundation helped me build my knowledge base since I got into opinion writing more than 12 years ago (along with the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and, locally, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation).”
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Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Global Brightening and Hazy Predictions,” by Harold Brown.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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