Today on Context Florida: Bill Nelson, gun owners, gambling and Medicaid expansion

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Today on Context Florida:

The state is not doing its job to protect consumers from health insurance rate hikes, says U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. After passing up billions of dollars from the federal government for the state to expand Medicaid, Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-controlled Legislature callously enacted a new law that, in essence, prevents the state’s insurance commissioner from regulating health insurance rates, he writes.

According to Adam Weinstein, former NRA president and top pro-gun lobbyist Marion Hammer, in praising Florida’s recent “Docs vs. Glocks” law, does not give gun owners credit for their ability to hear the risks that come with their choices. Gun owners are not children, he says. Even a pediatrician knows that.

Rather than openly push for the expansion of gambling, former Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp writes that many of those behind the effort to eliminate live greyhound racing at greyhound racetracks say it is in the name of “dog safety.” But he believes the real goal is to operate the tracks as mini-casinos with slot machines despite the fact that the tracks were approved only for the operation as greyhound racing facilities.

Marc Yacht notes that in July, the Florida Medical Association House of Delegates passed a resolution to support the state’s acceptance of Medicaid expansion money. FMA influence holds much sway with the Legislature, and the endorsement represents a giant step forward to improve the health care of Florida citizens.

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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.