Rose-colored Florida is a cynical myth, the stuff of marketing brochures, a developers’ conspiracy of enticing fiction to make their cash registers ring. The real Florida is a bitter, brooding reality beyond sugarcoating, argues Stephen Goldstein.
The very rich, who are already less and less in touch with the lives of ordinary Americans, will further barricade themselves to avoid having to witness the decline of a country that is no longer about ensuring a decent standard of living for the greatest number of people.
The net worth of just 400 billionaires is on par with the collective wealth of our more than 14 million African- American households. Both groups possess some $2 trillion, about three percent of our national net worth, an economic injustice Martin Luther King would have decried, argues Bob Lord.
Attention has long been focused on the lack of economic diversity at private colleges, especially at the most elite schools. What has been little discussed is how public universities, which enroll far more students, have gradually shifted their priorities — and a growing portion of their aid dollars — toward wealthier students.
Reform was supposed to do away with bare-bones health plans that could leave consumers who become seriously ill on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. It won’t, as plans with limited benefits may continue to be offered by some large businesses, especially those with low-paid workers such as restaurant chains and retailers.
The announcement was a victory for Gov. Rick Scott and Republican lawmakers who approved the proposal to move to statewide Medicaid managed care in 2011, amid controversy about whether the changes would best serve the needs of low-income Floridians.
Florida lawmakers say they want to pursue an alternative plan, possibly expanding Healthy Kids, that would use federal money to help uninsured low-income people get coverage through private insurers. Democrats are not entirely opposed.
Far from a dud, as these second inaugurals tend to be, Obama’s today was bracing in its realism, and hopeful, ironically, for having finally shed the imagery of hope for hope’s sake, replacing it with an agenda for equality, little heard of since the days of the New Deal and the Great Society.
Only 59 percent of doctors in Florida accept accept new Medicaid patients, well below a national average 69 percent. Better reimbursements would improve both rates, but that’s not about to happen in Florida, which is rejecting increased federal aid.
We can all afford less tax coddling and more fiscal responsibility. But don’t expect to hear that from allegedly conservative Republican and our blandly, irresponsibly centrist president, who’s bribing his way to a second term.