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Today on Context Florida: Jeb’s mojo, universal health care and the University of Central Florida

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Today on Context Florida:

For the past several weeks the mainstream press has reveled in pummeling the soft underbelly of the Bush non-campaign, writes Peter Schorsch. From a bad week on the trail when Jeb couldn’t provide a cogent response to the Iraq war question, to a host of new occupants pushing their way into the Republican presidential clown car, to an alleged “shake-up” on his staff that involved, let’s see, giving a guy from Iowa a different title in Jeb’s nascent organization, the press has been relentless in painting Jeb as a hapless rube who is riding the bad side of the Darwinian curve. And yet, despite the foreshadowing of his demise, Jeb Bush has been consistently, and sometimes even powerfully, moving the ball down the field.

Marc Yacht says that by refusing federal Medicaid expansion money, Florida lost $700 million in 2016, and billions more down the road. That loss ripples outward to affect healthcare providers, pharmacies, medical equipment suppliers, the business community and all Florida residents. In all fairness, Medicaid offers second-tier discounted coverage. Many doctors reject it. However, it does open the door to a full range of services including primary care, specialty care, and hospitalizations. Universal coverage would allow all Americans access to needed preventive and episodic care. Chronic conditions, he says, would be addressed and no one would have to delay needed care for fear of cost.

It’s incredibly ironic to Todd Dagenais that the University of Central Florida was started in 1963 near the nation’s spaceport to help support the exploration of the universe; now they are in a position as the nation’s second-largest university to exert a lot of influence on their own little piece of that universe. To everyone who is a part of UCF – which has grown to about 61,000 students – every day they go to class or job, they are writing history, too. Dagenais says they are living the stories and taking the pictures that others will talk about and see in the future; taking the pictures they will stare at some day. They will be those ghosts in the hallways 100 years from now, he notes.

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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.

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