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Today on Context Florida: Seminole Compact, fee-for-service, off island in Key West and LIFO ban

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Today on Context Florida:

Jac VerSteeg talks about state Sen. Joe Abruzzo’s ‘wide open’ alternative to the Seminole Compact, which may be under consideration if the Legislature refuses to ratify Rick Scott’s deal with the Tribe. Abruzzo says: “In looking at this and all the moving parts and how difficult this issue is, we hear a lot about the compact and a lot about parity and things of that nature …What if we just looked at giving parity to all the pari-mutuels and giving (the Seminole Tribe) the ability to lead it, to have the games you want and not have to pay any taxes to the state? Just open it wide open. Let the existing Florida businesses that have been working and playing and really leading the industry have the games that you have and you would be able to operate the way that you wanted.”

Since the State of Florida has moved away from a fragmented fee-for-service system of healthcare delivery toward a more holistic approach to care through the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program, Audrey Brown says we’ve learned many lessons. One of the most important is that a coordinated healthcare delivery system that addresses whole-body health leads to more effective, preventative care. That means fewer trips to emergency rooms and that Floridians are healthier.

For Linda Cunningham, going off island requires a certain reconfiguring of mindset. There will be hordes of commuters and lines of cabs and lots of noise and smelly buses and irritable people with phones for ears and anxiety where smiles should be. There will be pavement and potholes and skyscrapers and sprawling suburban cookie cutters. Not that they don’t have all those things in Key West, Cunningham says. They do, except for skyscrapers and cookie cutter houses. Key West is pretty much Manhattan without the high rises.

As the son and grandson of small business owners, José Félix Díaz understands how hard it can be to achieve success for the company on which a family’s hopes and dreams rest. It is a daily struggle, made all the harder in recent years by over-regulation, a deep recession, and a complicated, burdensome tax code. Congress should not make things worse by adding LIFO repeal to the list of challenges facing business owners and the employees, suppliers and families they support. Although a seemingly small change in accounting policy, Díaz says a LIFO ban would have a disproportionately large impact on the very companies now putting Floridians back to work.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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