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Today on Context Florida: Judicial term limits, bring back the clowns and balance billing reform

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Today on Context Florida:

Term limits have spelled disaster for the Florida Legislature, says Martin Dyckman; it erases experience, dumbs down the process, and leaves lobbyists even more firmly in control. It was the achievement of people who preferred to weaken government rather than improve it. Florida being Florida, he says, it figures that some people now propose to do the same to the judiciary.

As a child, Marc Yacht loved the circus. Back then, they were still pitching tents. The circus wagons led by the elephants rolled through town. Unfortunately the big tent gave way to convention halls and the mergers reduced shows to a very few. The ticket prices went up, the magic and the smells disappeared, and he had no further interest in the big top. The clowns remained, though, and haven’t changed much. They’re now running for president.

Far too often medical bills overwhelm families when they’re hit with surprise bills as a result of unexpected emergencies, even families that have purchased health insurance. For Audrey Brown, the practice of balance billing for emergency services has been detrimental. But relief could be on the way thanks to state Rep. Carlos Trujillo, who filed House Bill 221, which would effectively end the practice of balance billing PPO policyholders who receive emergency medical care from out-of-network health care providers.

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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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