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Expanding Medicaid to more working Georgians is morally responsible. It is also good for business. Healthy workers improve productivity.  Georgia should expand Medicaid now.

9 months ago on Ebenezer’s Raphael Warnock to Gov. Nathan Deal: Expanding Medicaid would be best way to honor MLK

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@Leslie Ward Larger cities can and must be expected to do a good job managing risk and employee safety. I am thrilled that you have taken on employee safety as a priority. Don't let anything I say take away from that effort.

But any city that has a higher percentage of employees in a high risk profession, like police, is going to have a higher injury rate than cities that don't have as high a percentage of high risk employees.

I have not read your audit, but the article cites figures that compare Atlanta with “the national average for local governments.” Does this include local governments that don't employ police or fire? Does it include cities that have no sewer system to maintain? Your audit may have taken that into account, but I did not see it in the article.

Private workers' comp insurance companies set their premiums based on the percentage of high risk employees that an employer has. A company that employs mostly construction workers will typically have more work injuries, and higher insurance premiums, than a company that employs mostly office workers. That does not mean the construction company is operating at a lower safety standard than the company that employs only office workers.

It means that one line of business is inherently riskier and more likely to produce job injuries than the other. Just as there are many different types of companies with different levels of risk, there are many types of cities with different levels of risk. Some local governments have only office workers approving business licenses. Other local governments have bomb disposal teams. Expecting the same injury rate for both types is ridiculous.

Please do hold the City of Atlanta to the highest standard possible. Just make sure that it is a fair and realistic standard and not one that compares Atlanta to local governments that don't provide a fraction of the services, including risky and necessary services, that big city governments provide.

Thank you again for working to improve employees' safety.

10 months, 2 weeks ago on Atlanta pays about $1 million a month in worker’s comp claims, a higher rate than national average

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@Burroughston Broch I hope you never have to experience a disabling injury.  I represent injured workers in workers' compensation claims.  Work injuries can ruin peoples' lives and workers' compensation benefits never make up for the lost income, pain and suffering.

The article compares the City government to all local governments nationwide.  This is like comparing apples and oranges.  The vast majority of local governments are not big cities and do not have the many moving parts of big city administration.  How does the City of Atlanta compare to similar cities?

10 months, 2 weeks ago on Atlanta pays about $1 million a month in worker’s comp claims, a higher rate than national average

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Government can work.  It has worked.  And it can work better.  We have made it work in the past and we can make it work in the future.  But we have to keep working at it.  When the far right (and the media catering to them) throw up their hands and give up on government when the slightest thing goes wrong, we have to say "get real." 

Nothing is perfect.  No one has all the answers.  But our lives are better than they were 100 years ago because government got better at interacting with the free market. Protections were put in place to protect workers.  Monopolies were broken up. We do not want to go back to the 19th Century.  We need to move forward and keep making government better.  To do that, we have to admit that government can be better.  

We are all better off when we are ALL better off.  Not just when a wealthy few are better off.  We need to pick each other up when we fall down, because we will all fall down at some point in this life.  

Cutting unemployment in NC is not only cruel, it is bad for everyone.  It increases the numbers of people who will go bankrupt or into foreclosure.   That is bad for the economy.  And a worse economy is bad for the wealthy as well as the poor and middle class.

Let's stop trying to kill every government program.  Let's start making government better.

1 year, 3 months ago on North Carolina’s model of consensus is slipping — giving Georgia leaders a chance to unite and move forward

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Abandon the Downtown Connector!  Let the City continue its come back.  The fact that we are comparing beautiful Sidney Harbor with an ugly highway shows a failure of priorities.  The highway is an eyesore and nothing will fix that.  The pedestrian experience is what needs to be enhanced.  Not that of people passing through at 70+ mph.

1 year, 3 months ago on Beautification of Peachtree Street bridges the first step in vision for adorning Downtown Connector

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No one is talking about taking out a $1 billion loan up front.  According to the story, the city was considering $250 to $750 million last March.  Now it is only considering $250 million to $300 million.

 

That means most of the $922 million backlog will not get done.  Anyone who owns a house knows about backlogs.   You do what you can when you can.

 

It sounds like the Mayor is being realistic about how much money is available.  Next will be hard choices about what parts of the backlog get addressed and what parts don't.  

 

Making those decisions will require us all to be adults and not misrepresent the facts.

1 year, 10 months ago on An infrastructure puzzle — Atlanta leaders keep working on solutions

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It is worth noting that Ross Mason is a Fellow with Newt Gingrich's healthcare "think" tank.

http://www.healthtransformation.net/cs/CHTfellowRossMason

This provides some context to Ayn Rand like statements about abolishing the income tax and worshiping the 3,000 "innovators" who are allegedly driving the U.S. economy while the rest of us are - presumably - freeloading.

3 years, 1 month ago on Georgia can enact strategic public policies to emerge as a leading innovation center

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