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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 →

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Friday Facts: April 02, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The more things change, the more they stay the same, as this news clipping from 1996 shows. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, continues to campaign tirelessly for government to reduce regulations on businesses, especially small businesses. Quotes of note “For years you have hired people to do work around your house. Instead of paying them in full every year, you use the money to buy holiday gifts, so that you are popular with your friends. Each year you tell … Continue Reading →

Foundation Hails U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in Florida-Georgia Water Dispute

April 1, 2021 Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, released this statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision today to dismiss Florida’s lawsuit in its 8-year-old “water wars” dispute with Georgia: The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling validates the December 2019 recommendation by the Special Master, New Mexico federal Judge Paul Kelly, to dismiss the case, and it vindicates Georgia, which Florida had accused of unfair use of the water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. As we have said previously, the cap on Georgia’s … Continue Reading →

Foundation Welcomes Georgia Legislature’s Protection of Learning Pods

March 31, 2021 Atlanta — Parents of school-age children can breathe easier after the Georgia General Assembly approved the Learning Pods Protection Act, Georgia Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Kyle Wingfield said today. Parents needed the certainty that learning pods would be protected from overregulation, Wingfield said. “Remote learning, for one reason or another, is here to stay,” Wingfield said, “and some public school districts have already announced they will offer it as a full-time option in the fall. But we also saw earlier this month that, with severe … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 29, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Monday: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press briefing today she has a “recurring feeling” of “impending doom” as new daily cases of the coronavirus are rising and the nation approaches 550,000 COVID deaths among 30.2 million cases. According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking dashboard, the United States has reported more than 549,350 deaths among more than 30.2 million cases and leads the world in cases and … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 26, 2021

It’s Friday!  Friday’s Freshest: Visit georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Don’t Let Strings on Covid Cash Make Georgia Feds’ Puppet,” by Kyle Wingfield. Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has long held state government accountable for its spending, as this article from 25 years ago demonstrates. Quotes of note “People who worked through 2020 with no reduction in pay chat about how they are going to spend their ‘stimmy” checks. A poll conducted by a securities firm found that 40% … Continue Reading →

Georgia Public Policy Foundation Joins Free-Market Coalition Asking Treasury Secretary Yellen to Respect State Powers

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a co-signer on a letter from a coalition of organizations that was sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The text is below. Dear Secretary Yellen, On March 11, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Act), which authorizes $1.9 trillion in new federal funding. The undersigned organizations are state and national think tanks, whose research and educational work, among other things, advances free-market public policy in each of our respective states. Many of the organizations signed on this … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 22, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Calling the shots: The COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are made with messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which teaches cells how to make protein that triggers an immune response and produce antibodies without using or injecting the live virus. A drawback of these vaccines is that booster shots may be necessary. In contrast, Johnson &Johnson, China’s CanSino Biologics and AstraZeneca are “viral vector” vaccines: made with a harmless cold virus that acts like a Trojan horse to … Continue Reading →