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Today on Context Florida: Special session begins, Everglades, déjà vu and the health of our healthcare system

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Today on Context Florida:

Florida legislators reconvene this week in a special session to do its only real job – pass a budget. The politics of personal resentment are alive and well and back in Tallahassee, says Julie Delegal. The shortsighted idea, as Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center describes it, is this: “No one should get anything that only I should be entitled to.” Why else would House Speaker Steve Crisafulli bring up words like “able-bodied working-age adults” in the Medicaid expansion debate?

Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, says he looks forward to working with Gov. Scott, the Florida Legislature and SFWMD to finish what we’ve started with the bi-partisan Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. CERP, signed into law in 2000, seeks to build a vital reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

Sal Nuzzo writes that the Florida Senate’s new healthcare FHIX offering is – in the words of Yogi Berra – “like Déjà vu all over again.” Supporters of the plan hope Floridians will be attracted to claims that this is a free-market approach to healthcare. Unfortunately, beyond the rhetoric, Nuzzo says the revised plan still relies on accepting tens of billions of dollars in federal Medicaid expansion funds.

Dr. Dale Brill says six measures can be used for then initial evaluation of Florida’s aggregate healthcare system, used as conversation starters, not an exhaustive list. The first symptom of interest addresses our life span. Florida ranks 25th in the U.S., with 7,116 years lost prematurely. Two others signal how well the state’s healthcare system is proactively addressing Florida’s health issues: preventable hospitalizations and public health funding.

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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