Today on Context Florida: Alabama and Obamacare, benefits, mean-spirited elections and Amendment 2

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Today on Context Florida:

After hearing an Alabama political candidate vow to oppose Obamacare if elected, Mark O’Brien notes that Alabama is No. 11 when it comes to total federal spending on the 50 states — salaries, contracts, Social Security, Medicare and numerous other direct payments to individuals and institutions. Much of the nation is caught up in convulsions about the Affordable Health Care Act and other programs that offer help to anyone deemed undesirable, morally bankrupt or not part of the chosen groups that get their subsidies the old-fashioned way — through exemptions, loopholes and lobbying in Washington.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court found that family-owned companies do not have to abide by the contraceptive provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act. But Julie Delagal says that we all missed one thing: In providing a benefits package that included birth control, aren’t actually paying for birth control per se. They’re paying for a worker’s labor. They’re paying employees with insurance benefits. How the employees spend that benefit is their business, in the same manner as how they spend their paychecks.

Elections do not have to be mean-spirited, writes Rick Outzen. He recounts a time when elections were not so cutthroat, when Outzen and his brothers helped their father in his first race for election commissioner for Washington County, Miss.

As a mother and physician, it’s important for Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos, president of the Brevard County Medical Society, to shed light on Amendment 2 and how she feels it will hurt communities, neighbors and, most importantly, children — just like pill mills did in the all-too-recent past. If Amendment 2 is successful, Haridopolos believes it will unquestionably be an open invitation for disreputable pot docs to open up shop in Florida.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.