Today on Context Florida: Medicaid money, economic rape, Jim Brown and tourists

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Today on Context Florida:

Loss of the Medicaid expansion money, Mark O’Brien points out, will mean hospitals must scrap ideas for improvements that would lead to lower costs, better service and long-term improvements. Not just the latest whiz-bang medical devices, he says, but even mundane details, like laundry.

For going on 16 years, Stephen Goldstein says the Florida Republican Party has fiddled and belittled the middle class. It isn’t an act of God that’s destroying the American Dream; it’s petty, self-serving, greedy acts of Man, justified by a perversion of capitalism that’s the equivalent of economic rape.

Over the years, former Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp had the privilege to meet some amazing people. One of the most impressive was NFL legend Jim Brown, who lived an amazing life as an athlete, civil rights advocate and movie star. Today’s football fans have little appreciation for Jim’s dominance on the gridiron, Kottkamp says.

When more people visit Florida, it directly results in more jobs for Floridians and a reduced tax burden for the state’s taxpayers, according to Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of the TaxWatch Center for Competitive Florida. As visitors spend their money here, state and local governments are able to collect more revenue, which enables them to pass on the revenue gains to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts, including the nearly $500 million tax cut passed by the 2014 Legislature.

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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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.