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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - June 24, 2013

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OCALA STAR-BANNER: "GOVERNOR HAS SHOWN HIS MAIN CONCERN IS GETTING RE-ELECTED"

Editorial: Political meddling with our universities [Ocala Star-Banner] "Gov. Rick Scott’s renewed interest in the State University System should be both exciting and terrifying, especially for the University of Florida. The governor’s interest first manifested itself through a clumsy swipe at anthropology majors and a higher education commission that made recommendations that went nowhere...Scott’s battle against a small tuition increase based on the rate of inflation has essentially been a one-way conversation about his own rigid ideology and ultimately could put all Florida’s public universities in worse shape over the long haul...It’s disingenuous for Scott to cite past tuition hikes as justification for opposing this one. He signed into law one of the previous increases, which universities used to help plug the massive budget hole caused by state cuts. By using his current opposition to tuition hikes to solicit campaign contributions, as the Palm Beach Post reported that Scott did this month, the governor has shown his main concern is getting re-elected. Once again, Rick Scott is all about Rick Scott."

 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: SCOTT, WEATHERFORD FAILED FLORIDA BY NOT EXPANDING HEALTHCARE

Editorial: Expanded Medicaid makes economic sense [Tampa Bay Times] "Leadership matters. In Arizona, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer set aside her opposition to health care reform, called the legislature into special session and forced it to approve Medicaid expansion. In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott had a similar epiphany but hardly lobbied Republican lawmakers who refused to expand Medicaid. There are moral and medical arguments for expanding Medicaid in Florida. It would cover nearly a million uninsured adults earning $15,856 or less and create a healthier state. But that is not persuasive to House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, who believes poor people could get health coverage if they just worked harder and got better jobs that offered insurance...Florida would receive $51 billion in federal money over 10 years, and the cost of the expansion would be entirely covered with federal dollars for the first three years...Families USA calculates that more than 70,000 new jobs would result from Medicaid expansion."

 

ALEX SINK: "SWEETHEART DEAL" FOR HERITAGE RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS

Citizens Deal Needs Thorough Review [Lakeland Ledger Op-Ed] "The recent Citizens Property Insurance deal with start-up insurance company Heritage must be stopped immediately and given thorough review by our elected officials who appoint the Citizens board members...This Heritage deal was "approved" by only three of the eight Citizens board members. This $52 million transaction should require a majority of five of the eight board votes. If those votes can't be gathered then the deal can't get done...Finally, it has been widely reported that this startup company made significant political contributions to Gov. Scott's campaign fund as well as the Republican Party just weeks before three Citizens board members voted to approve this deal. The timing of the reported briefings of the governor and CFO around this transaction, the political payments received by the governor and the Republican Party of Florida and the ultimate approval of this sweetheart deal not offered to other insurers raise serious questions."

 

MARCO RUBIO IS FL POLITICS LOSER OF THE WEEK

Loser of the Week: Marco Rubio [Tampa Bay Times] "When the mere mention of your name draws jeers and boos at a tea party rally in Washington - and ridicule by Sarah Palin - it's an ominous sign for your 2016 presidential prospects. Rubio has done a yeoman's job trying to reassure conservative media outlets about immigration reform, but whatever happens with the bill, he may have lost his standing as tea party savior."

 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT A SUCCESS & GOP SHOULD ACCEPT IT

Editorial: Health care act improves coverage, at lower cost [Tampa Bay Times] "The Affordable Care Act promises access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance regardless of age or health status. The opponents predicted that health insurance rates would skyrocket due to the law's new requirements, but that is not happening...Republicans in Congress continue to argue that the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. That won't happen at least while President Barack Obama is in office, and it shouldn't. The law could be improved, but it already is demonstrating that it will bring medical security to millions of Americans at a more affordable price."