Morning Reads, Monday July 2nd 2012

Morning all.  Jason’s taking the week off.  We’ll all be sparse in posting at least on Wednesday.  It’s America’s birthday you know.  So find someplace cool and take some time to celebrate it. 

In Georgia News:

Happy New Year! Georgia’s fiscal year began yesterday, and quite a few new laws took effect.

No long term relationship should start out with trust issues, and that’s what Jim Galloway points out the suburbs are having with transit (and state leaders).

Aaron Gould Sheinin and Shannon McCaffrey profile what it’s like when you’re the Senate Majority Leader and you’re facing a primary.

Thursday’s SCOTUS decision gives states the right to opt out of Medicaid expansion.  Better start learning now what that means.  The Governor has indicated he’ll wait and check political winds after the November elections before Georgia gets too far down the ACA path. 

John Lewis will now probably receive 85% of the primary vote instead of 82%.

Congrat’s to Obi’s Sister’s Daughter, who is on her way to grad school in New York.

Bill Dawers has some pics of the filming of CBGB down in Savannah.

In National News:

With the football sufficiently spiked, Democrats don’t want to keep talking about the politically unpopular ACA.  Republicans most likley will.

Alabama is cleared to land 1,000 manufacturing  jobs with a new Airbus factory.  Take this as a signal that the company plans to go head to head with Boeing, including for future defense contracts.

Colorado is cleaning up after fires; Virginia/D.C./West Virginia residents are waiting for power to be restored so they can Google the word derecho.

Extraneous and Miscellaneous:

Need evidence of a global economic slowdown? China, the world’s manufacturer and banker, shows its factories are down to March 2009 levels.

Mexico appears to have returned the PRI to power by electing Enrique Pena Nieto as President.  Mexicans who voted were required to show photo ID.

Isaiah Crowell is no longer a Bulldog.  UGA Football is still expecting  a strong season.

Taking one step closer to activating SkyNet, Japan is planing autonomous driving cars in about a decade.


  1. John Konop says:

    Medicade targets the most vunerable people in society children, pregnant teenage mothers, special needs people and the elderly. I have heard passionate arguements from pro-life conservative going as far as comparing abortion as to what Hitler did. If they do not support fully funding Medicade are they not being hypocritical? Since we know 70 percent of single teenage mothers end up on welfare is it not an unfounded mandate when we toughen up abortion laws?

    The above demonstrates the problems with being ideologue on issues. Life is very gray not so black and white. I am not advocating abortion, yet on the other hand, I do not advocate the let them die or get sicker appproach if people do not have the money for healthcare.

    The truth is, this is a problem that we need to attack on many fronts, from cost cutting, econmics and education/job training. And that means give and take from all sides with a real adult conversation.

    • DTK says:

      “If they do not support fully funding Medicade [sic] are they not being hypocritical?”

      You have a built-in assumption that poor people on Medicaid have better health outcomes than poor people who are uninsured. While this may seem like a no-brainer, emprically it’s not so. Go look up the studies on this. Expanding Medicaid is not going to do much to make poorer people healthier. It’s just going to be one more money pit we’re deepening and widening under the guise of “compassion.”

      • CobbGOPer says:

        Healthcare is just like college loans. The more federal/government money we put into it, the more expensive it’s all going to get in the end.

      • John Konop says:

        Guys no doubt the system need reform and change. But if you do not provide healthcare for special needs people, elderly, unwedded poor teenage mothers and the poor children of the state how can you support “right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death”?

        …………LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., July 21, 2010 /Christian Newswire/ — Throughout the state yesterday, voters supported an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that said the “right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death” and that right should be protected by law………….

      • Blake says:

        “You have a built-in assumption that poor people on Medicaid have better health outcomes than poor people who are uninsured. While this may seem like a no-brainer, emprically it’s not so. Go look up the studies on this.”

        Um, no. Citation(s) please; burden on the person making the argument.

        • Bill Dawers says:

          As far as I know, there’s limited data on this. From a recent piece in The Atlantic (

          “The experiment began back in 2008, when the state of Oregon offered to extend Medicaid coverage to 10,000 randomly selected applicants. Scientists at Harvard and MIT took that opportunity to find out what happened to those people. One year out, the researchers have come back with some interesting findings. Basically, it’s this: expanding Medicaid leads people to use more healthcare. That, in turn, drives up costs. But it’s also associated with a rise in financial security, as well as improvements in patients’ perceptions of their own health (no data are available yet as to actual health outcomes; it’s too soon to tell).”

          Basic preventative care almost certainly boosts worker productivity and labor force participation rates and also most likely prevents some highly expensive emergency care for the uninsured.

          Will we be mature enough in the debate over Medicaid expansion to consider all the public costs and all the public benefits?

          • Blake says:

            Much appreciated, Bill, though I’d still like to know what DTK thinks he’s (she’s?) referring to.

        • John Konop says:


          This is the shuffle fools game we all play with healthcare cost. If a poor person shows up at the emergency room hospital or is in a program like Peach Care, we all pay for it one way or another. We all know the emergency room is the most expensive form of healthcare for non emergencies. I am sure most rational people understand that not getting treatment is not good for the health of poor people on a macro. Do we really need a study on what happens to sick people who do not seek treatment especially children, teenage pregnant women………..? Bottom line if you are for “right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death” than you must support healthcare for people who cannot afford it, or you are a hypocrite.

          • Blake says:

            Honestly, if there was a real study that said the uninsured poor had better health outcomes than Medicaid-covered poor, I would have to revisit my opinions. However, as I suspect and Bill Dawers is tending to confirm, these “studies” appear to be completely fictitious.

            • benevolus says:

              Perhaps the alleged “better health outcome” is that they die and therefore their cost to the system ends.

            • John Konop says:


              You are missing my point. People not covered use county emergency rooms, and that is way more expensive than Medicaid. Cutting Medicaid is fool’s gold if you just treat them at the county hospital. Any outcome study is irrelevant anyways, because we all ready know the county emergency room solution is the most expensive. And obviously if they used preventive medicine it saves money. The real issue is how do we fix the problem. And if the solution is to not treat the people via Medicaid and or county emergency room than they are obviously not pro-life.

              • Blake says:

                I don’t mean to miss your point; I take your point on costs, as well as your point on hypocrisy. I meant simply to make the limited point that if it were empirically demonstrated that no intervention led to better health outcomes than Medicaid, I would revisit my support for Medicaid–but that evidence is not forthcoming.

                • DTK says:


                  I was referencing the Oregon study referenced above, the University of Virginia study that showed Medicaid surgical patients were 13 percent more likely to die than those with no insurance at all, and an old study that showed Medicare beneficiaries did not have a longer life expectancy than non-Medicare users, 10 years after the program took effect.

                  Avik Roy also lists three other studies, one from Penn, one from Columbia-Cornell, and another from Florida in the following blog post, which sums up the argument well:


                  • Blake says:

                    Thanks for the reply and the link, DTK. I’ve started reading; there is a lot there to digest and sift.

                  • John Konop says:

                    This is what I said.

                    …..Medicaid pays hospitals and doctors less than 60 percent of what private insurers pay. Indeed, Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that hospitals, on average, lose money on every Medicaid patient they treat. As a result, most doctors refuse to see Medicaid patients, forcing the poor to get care through hospital emergency rooms. (Emergency rooms are required by federal law to treat all comers.) These patients can’t get access to routine checkups and preventive care, because doctors won’t see them. That, in turn, leads to poorer health outcomes……

  2. saltycracker says:

    From the link on medicaid expansion: “The state estimated last week that it would have to pay an additional $4.5 billion over 10 years if the Medicaid expansion goes through. ”

    Someone help me with the math on this one.
    3yrs. 100% Feds, 7 yrs. 90% Feds.
    Using all 10 years our 10% hit is $450 M @ yr. so the total expansion is $4.5 B @ yr. for 650,000 (57% more people) ?
    That’s somewhere in the $700 range per for GA in a total cost of $7,000 per year.
    The Feds need to be buying them all private insurance and cut costs big time.
    Or maybe GA ought to see if we can pay the penalty on the whole lot (current &expanded) & walk.

    I must have this wrong – how many & what cost now ?

    The expanded coverage is not worth it for 10 cents on the dollar ?
    The Tea Party will argue it is bait & switch by the Feds after 10 yrs. – chances of that are ?
    Can we opt out if they change the states % ?

  3. benevolus says:

    Why do we celebrate the day we broke our previous relationship instead of the day we built our new one?
    Any of these would do:

    September 17- Constitution signed
    June 21- Officially ratified
    March 4- New government convenes

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