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15 posts from November 8, 2013

November 08, 2013

Watchdog wanted for $830 million in Jackson Health System bonds


Now comes the hard part.

One day after Miami-Dade voters approved $830 million in public funds for upgrades and new equipment and facilities for Jackson Health System, local elected officials and leaders of the county’s public hospital network vowed Wednesday to keep a campaign promise that the money will be spent as intended and monitored closely by a yet-to-be-established oversight board.

But one county commissioner who voted against the referendum said he remains skeptical that the taxpayer funds will be shielded from undue political influence, or that the significant public investment will ensure Jackson’s long-term success amid a changing healthcare environment.

Commissioner Juan C. Zapata, who represents Southwest Miami-Dade, said he is convinced that politics will poison the process — even with an oversight board.

“How these monies get spent, where the bids get opened up, that’s now subject to politics,’’ he said. “If politics drives how we spend that money, you can rest assured that easily a big chunk of that money is not going to be spent in a wise way.’’

Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, who championed the bond issue from the moment it was publicly announced in late June, promised supporters on election night that politics won’t get in the way. She said an independent panel will be appointed to oversee how the bond funds are spent and to ensure they are used for Jackson.

More here.

Crist to see Obama today in Miami, says "I don't think so" when asked if president lied


The Republican Party of Florida is noting former Gov. Charlie Crist's flip-floppery over Obamacare (hated it as a Republican, loves it as a Democrat) and his response to this question in a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera, who asked if the president got "caught in a lie" by saying those who like their health-insurance could keep it under the Affordable Care Act:

"I don't know. I don't think so. I know him to being an honorable and a decent man. He's actually in the Sunshine State later today. I look forward to seeing him. And I worked hard for his reelection because I believe in his heart and his grace," Crist said.

A sample of the RPOF clip job showing Crist wasn't always such a believer in Obama or Obamacare:

As Independent Candidate For Senate, Crist Bashed Obamacare, Attacked Obama For Not Working Towards Bipartisanship. "Crist, who lost much of his Republican support by appearing with Obama at a rally to push for the passage of the $787 billion stimulus, referred a couple of times to 'Obamacare' as a slight to the health care overhaul the president signed into law. 'Obamacare was off the charts, was wrong. It taxed too much, has mandates that are probably unconstitutional, and it's not the way to go. And it was rammed through,' said Crist, who has previously said both that he would support a repeal of the law and that he would seek to fix, but not repeal it, because it has some good things. And in another attempt to put a gap between himself and the president, Crist also criticized Obama for not following through on his promise of working with both parties. 'The president started out originally saying I'm going to work across the aisle 'I'm going to reach across the aisle and make sure that we get everybody involved in the solutions that matter to the people of America,' Crist said. 'It hasn't happened. It needs to happen.'" (Brendan Farrington, "Fla.'s Crist Tries To Distance Himself From Obama," The Associated Press, 10/20/2010)


Florida House District 112 race already heating up

Daniel Diaz Leyva, a Republican running for House District 112, landed a key endorsement this week from former Gov. Jeb Bush.

"I am pleased to endorse Daniel Diaz Leyva in his campaign for the Florida House of Representatives," Bush wrote in a statement. "He’s a principled and thoughtful leader who will advance innovative, conservative solutions to the challenges facing our state. Danny has a strong record of public service and community involvement and I know he will represent the residents of South Florida well."

Diaz Leyva is challenging incumbent Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez. The race will be one of the most closely watched in South Florida. Both candidates are young attorneys considered rising stars in their respective parties. And both have already launched considerable fundraising efforts.

District 112 includes Brickell, Key Biscayne, the Roads, Coconut Grove, and parts of Coral Gables.

RGA goes after Crist and Obama on flip flops over taxes and hc insurance


Here's the latest web ad from the Republican Governor's Association in what will be many more to come. It's called "Politicians of a Feather lie together"  and revives serious "regret" clips.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist is being grilled on Fox News for the drivers taxes imposed by him and the Florida Legislature and the ad then juxtaposes the video clips from President Obama in which he promises that no one would lose an insurance plan they liked. 

On eve of Obama's visit, White House keeping pressure on FL over Medicaid expansion


The White House lambasted governors in Louisiana and Florida for not expanding Medicaid -- as President Barack Obama plans to visit both states on Friday -- though he won't be addressing his rocky health care law rollout.

White House Deputy Senior Advisor David Simas said 848,000 people without insurance in Florida could get coverage immediately if Gov. Rick Scott agreed to expand the federal-state health care program for the poor. Another 265,000 uninsured could gain access to coverage in Louisiana if Gov. Bobby Jindal went along, Simas said.

"We believe that it is reckless that some governors are so determined to see that the health care law not succeed that they have even refused to expand Medicaid coverage for millions and millions of working people," Simas said.

Continue reading "On eve of Obama's visit, White House keeping pressure on FL over Medicaid expansion " »