Recent federal reports show that Sen. Jason Carter’s plans for Medicaid expansion would far exceed the costs of President Obama’s plan while doing little to increase access to health care providers.
“Inadequate access to care and higher health care costs for taxpayers are the exact opposite of what President Obama and Democrats promised the program would do,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “Coverage does not equal access. Medicaid is a critical safety net for our most vulnerable patients and is in need of serious reforms. Rather than address these problems, however, Medicaid expansion doubles down on them.”
“Cartercare” would emulate the Arkansas model, the so-called “private option.” The federal Government Accountability Office recently issued a report showing that the Arkansas plan will cost $778 million more than traditional Medicaid over three years – a massive additional cost covered by taxpayers. (more…)
On Wednesday I had the privilege of meeting with S. Ganbaatar, a member of the Mongolian Parliament.
When he entered the room, Ganbaatar walked up excitedly to examine a framed document that has hung for years in my offices. The document is a list of commitments to the people, signed by dozens of candidates for public office who promised to vote on a specific policy agenda if they were elected to office. It’s framed alongside a picture of the candidates who signed and campaigned on it. Many of them went on to be elected in a historic vote that tossed out a party that had held power since the 1920s.
Ganbaatar was looking at a framed copy of the 1996 “Contract with the Mongolian Voter.” That contract was, as the Washington Postreported the next year, “the most widely distributed document in Mongolian history.” The Mongolian voters — with a 91% turnout — elected the democratic opposition, which four years earlier had held just six seats. With a program of “private property rights, a free press and the encouragement of foreign investment,” they defeated the Communist Party that had ruled since 1921.
Ganbaatar, who was elected to Parliament as an Independent in 2012 and is already one of his country’s most popular politicians, recounted emotionally how the Contract with the Voter was a watershed event in modern Mongolian history. The ideas in that document, he told me, “gave us our freedom.”
Mongolia’s peaceful, democratic transition of power from the communists to a republican government was one of the few hopeful stories to come out of the former Soviet states in the early years after the Cold War.
It was fitting, but only a coincidence, that Ganbaatar visited just a few days before the 20th anniversary of the Contract with America, the inspiration for Mongolia’s Contract with the Voters.
On September 27, 1994, more than 350 candidates for Congress gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to sign a pledge to the American people, a promise to vote on 10 key reforms if we won a majority in the House of Representatives. That campaign, which I helped organize, earned Republicans control of the House for the first time in 40 years.
Last week I told you about legislation I’ve offered to stop the threat of the Islamic State. I also told you that in the midst of meeting this challenge, the House had still been hard at work trying to meet your priorities.
There are now 387 bills passed by the House awaiting Senate action–Senate action of any kind. One of those is now H.R. 2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act. The cost of American energy doesn’t just affect what you pay at the pump, but it’s tied to more than 150,000 jobs in this country. It’s a logical place for job creation, and the House action to spur that industry deserves Senate attention as soon as possible.
The House also passed an economic growth package aimed at alleviating the pressure of regulations on smaller businesses. One piece of that package was my legislation to keep the federal government accountable and open about the ways some regulations are enacted. The House Majority Leader has a great write-up about how these bills work here.
It’s my hope that we’ll see the Senate act soon. As always, you can let me know your views on this or any other issue.
Toyota chooses Savannah for exports to Australia, New Zealand
Ocean Terminal to move thousands of Highlanders every year
The Georgia Ports Authority has doubled its Toyota export business, as the company is now moving Highlander SUVs bound for Australia and New Zealand through the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal.
“The efficiency and world-class customer service at our roll-on/roll-off facilities in Savannah and Brunswick have made GPA a trusted name in the movement of vehicles and heavy equipment,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “Combined, our terminals moved more than 700,000 cars, trucks and tractors last fiscal year, and we’re on track to beat that record in FY2015.”
Toyota began exporting Venza crossovers via the Port of Brunswick to Eastern Europe a year and a half ago. (more…)
Deal: I-285/Ga. 400 interchange project funding plan approved
Interchange improvements will provide congestion relief for hundreds of thousands of motorists
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the Atlanta Transportation Improvement Plan, which includes funding for I-285/Ga. 400 interchange project. The FHWA determined the plan met federal air quality regulations — the final hurdle in moving the project forward and delivering congestion relief to the more than 400,000 motorists.
“These interchange improvements are crucial to improving Georgia’s transportation infrastructure and expanding our role as a major logistics hub for global commerce,” Deal said. “We are utilizing all the tools that the state has available — accrued motor fuel revenues, authorized bonds, private participation through the Perimeter CIDs, Georgia’s strong AAA bond rating and an improved schedule of debt payments — to facilitate this project and provide much needed relief for commuters and area businesses. This decision is good news for Georgia, and especially the metro region. Now that our funding plan has been approved, we can begin construction on a project that will certainly provide important economic and quality of life benefits for many years to come.”
The improvements include the construction of new flyover ramps, new collector-distributor lanes and other facilities to aid east-west travel on along I-285 and north-south travel along Ga. 400. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) estimates the design-build cost (more…)
Despite her degree, at First Manassas she was only allowed to serve as a nurse. Eventually she became an unpaid volunteer field surgeon for the Union army and served on front line battlefields for nearly two years.
In fall of 1863, in response to the dire medical needs, she was transferred to a Union hospital in Chattanooga. Finally, in September 1863, her relentless perseverance paid off, and she was awarded a commission as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian)” with the Union Army of the Cumberland. It was technically a civilian, not a military, position, but she did receive compensation. A few months later she was appointed a civilian contract assistant surgeon for the 52nd Ohio Infantry, a Union regiment wintering in Chattanooga.
Though she had been a civilian contractor, Walker was recognized as the first-ever female U.S. Army Surgeon. In November 1865, President Andrew Johnson signed a bill awarding her the highest U.S. Armed Forces decoration for bravery, the Medal of Honor. The citation stated that she had “devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health. She had also endured hardships as a prisoner of war for four months in a Southern prison.”
Walker remains today the only woman, and one of only eight civilians, ever awarded the Medal of Honor.
Republicans advertise on ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Democrats buy ads on ‘Big Brother.’
If you have seen the “Today” show or your local news or an NFL game in recent weeks and you are unfortunate/fortunate enough to live in (or near) a Senate battleground state, what I am about to write will probably not surprise you: Those broadcasts have been the most likely to host ads from Senate candidates and party campaign committees since Aug. 1.
Among daytime shows, Dr. Phil sells the most time to Republicans, while “The View” sells more ads to Democrats. Sunday ad time is more likely sold to GOP candidates than Dems. Interestingly to me, and somewhat counterintuitive, is that advertising during “Modern Family” advertising is about 2/3 by Republicans. Someone pointed out to me that in “Modern Family,” each family unit featured on the show has a stay-at-home parent.
Among re-runs, Andy Griffith is very popular among Republicans.
In the aggregate, social media users are younger, more liberal … and less politically engaged than the general populace. Facebook is the closest thing we have to a neutral and all-inclusive public forum — and that’s only because so many people are on it that the overall politics and demographics of the platform are a wash.
Pinterest is one of the most conservative social networking sites — something that was already established by a Harvard Institute of Politics study of young adults from earlier this year. Quantcast also found that Pinterest users were wealthier and older than the users of other major social-media platforms
Twitter, on the other hand, leans the furthest left and features far more active political creatures than Pinterest. Quantcast found that Twitter users were the one exception to the rule that social media users tend to pay attention to politics far less than most Americans. The Harvard Institute of Politics study also found that Twitter users are more likely to be Democrats.
“The managed lanes are a way to meet the need when you need it,” she said. “It is not the best answer, but it’s the only answer we have right now.”
As with the existing toll lanes, the toll to use the new lanes will vary with demand and congestion. The new section, Pope added, will be tolled separately from the existing section and there will be signs indicating where the new toll begins.
“When you need that reliable trip time, you can choose to pay your way in and get it,” Pope explained.
Dacula resident Wayne Rowan is adamantly opposed to the project. Rowan travels approximately 30,000 miles a year, much of it in Gwinnett, but refuses to use the existing toll lanes.
“I refuse to pay for something I’ve already paid for before,” he said. “I don’t have a Peach Pass and I’m not going to get a Peach Pass. I’ll sit in traffic. I don’t care.”
Republican voters must not sit out the November elections. Such inaction could put two unqualified liberal Democrats into office.
Michelle Nunn, candidate for Senate, would be one more puppet vote for Barack Obama’s far-left liberal policies. She would not vote to repeal Obamacare, nor make any changes to that law. Further, as a senator, she would be just one more toady of the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bottle up any and all legislation, without bringing it to a vote, which Reid doesn’t like. She would also vote along party lines to ensure Obama crams even far more leftists onto the federal courts and non-elected boards and commissions. Their opinions and decisions are as effective as laws but have not been passed by Congress.
Virtually all of her working life has been spent with nonprofit organizations. In this capacity, she has not had to be concerned with making sales to pay employees, pay the bills and keep the doors open. A Sen. Nunn would only help Obama create even more nonprofits from profit-making businesses, leading them to bankruptcy. This would further increase unemployment, the last thing Whitfield County needs.
For governor, an inexperienced Atlanta lawyer, with a flip-flopping voting record in a brief state Senate career, speaks like a true Democrat. Jason Carter has all sorts of solutions to problems but offers no way to pay for them. He must not know that Georgia can’t print money.
With the Legislature solidly controlled by Republicans, he would have no chance of passing his Obama-lite legislation. If his family name were different, he probably would not even be a candidate.
The five have received endorsements from top Democratic figures in the state as well as important progressive groups, but have largely gone under the national radar.
All the challenges women face in running for office — raising money, getting support from their party and convincing voters they have the chops — are magnified for women of color. Case in point: A recent study showed that black women raise an average $235,000 less than their black male counterparts when running for office.
There isn’t much good down-ballot polling for Georgia’s races, but most polls suggest that they will be close, with an edge given to Republicans (similar to the gubernatorial and Senate races), because of the state’s overall makeup. Democrats want very badly to capitalize on the state’s changing DNA and have said that increasing the voter rolls by 3 percent with Democratic voters would mean victory.
As voters, black women will be key to any get-out-the-vote efforts, as they are crucial to the overall turnout of African Americans, who made up 28 percent of the vote in the 2010 midterm elections in Georgia.
And although black women power the black vote, making up almost 60 percent of the voters in that key demographic — and cast ballots at a higher rate than any other demographic group in 2008 and 2012 — that has hardly translated to political power.
Capitol Partners Public Affairs Group, Inc. announced that Caroline Womack joined the firm as a principal. Prior to joining Capitol Partners, Womack served as government relations director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia.
“Caroline’s strong record of effective advocacy and results in addition to her relentless work ethic are tremendous assets to our clients,” said Rusty Sewell, principal and founder of Capitol Partners. “As we look to the future and position ourselves for growth, Caroline will be an integral part of our firm and leadership team. We are proud to welcome her to Capitol Partners.”
While at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Caroline played a key role in expanding the company’s relationship with the State of Georgia. During her tenure, she successfully guided public affairs and external communications initiatives during one of the most turbulent periods for the health care industry.
“In government relations, there is no substitute for experience and strong relationships built on integrity and trust,” said Hunter Towns, principal at Capitol Partners. “Caroline brings in-depth knowledge of the legislative landscape in Georgia as well as her affable, winning personality. She knows how to get things done, which is an invaluable quality for our clients and our firm.”
Capitol Partners Public Affairs group represents top companies and nonprofits including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the State Bar of Georgia, Blue Bird Corporation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Auto Club Group (AAA) and the Georgia Cable Association, among others.