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Today on Context Florida: Single-payer health care, inspirational eloquence, sports magnet schools and John Haddox

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Today on Context Florida:

According to Dr. Marc Yacht, the Affordable Care Act 2010 – popularly known as Obamacare – has allowed about 18 million uninsured people to acquire health coverage so far. About 33 million remain uncovered and the bulk of those live in states that rejected ACA Medicaid expansion dollars. The numbers are confusing, Yacht says, but overall the uninsured rate nationwide has dropped from 18 percent to 13 percent. Adults and children have benefited as uninsured rates decrease. ACA 2010 has not solved the problem of an inefficient, fragmented, and outrageously costly system of care. There are simply too many insurers, too much oversight, and too many factors that drive up costs.

Bill Day’s latest:


Ed Moore laments the demise of inspirational American eloquence. We have all read some of these eloquent and inspiring words of past American leaders. Some captured the moment exactly, offering reassurances that the times might be troubled, but Moore said that with American courage, ingenuity and perseverance, there were no troubles we could not be faced head-on. Some were by Democrats and some by Republicans, but all inspired us as a nation. All were filled with passion, reason and challenge. They were not designed to appeal to our most base instincts. They were eloquent, painting a clear picture for us all, not of what existed, but what was possible.

Jac VerSteeg asks if the time is right for sports magnet schools. The Florida Legislature is considering bills to greatly expand “choice” for student-athletes and, incidentally, students who participate in other extracurricular activities. VerSteeg concedes that the Legislature could be on the way toward creating “choice” sports dynasties. But some of the horror among educators that a football magnet or baseball magnet would be an affront to academic purity is elitist and hypocritical.

Sally Swartz tells us about Martin Commissioner John Haddox, who knows how to push a plan that has little public interest or support. First, he schedules a meeting that doesn’t include any representatives of the general public or anyone who doesn’t support the plan. Next, Haddox declares that all the folks who attend support the plan, even if they don’t. Swartz notes that he used the same formula a few years ago on Martin County Airport issues to pave the way for airport changes and push support for the Customs Facility, which commissioners eventually nixed.

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 [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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