By Michael Dobson

obamacare bill signing

First, this writing is a Facebook post on this writers Facebook page. Because of the discussions that followed, it was decided to share it on our blog.

Now, about Obamacare and etc:

Here is the thing, if you are really bored, go to you tube and you will see politicians who are running for President over the past 40 -50 years talk about healthcare, education and perhaps social security. Those three things, each one of the candidates. None of them had ever done anything transformational to address those issues. Obama did, and its eating folks up.. that it was him who did it. And regarding how he did it.. how he met his goal of making sure everyone had access to healthcare and would have healthcare... not just access? Well, the structure of Obama care was the only way to accomplish that. You see, in a previous life I used to be in the insurance business.. State Farm. I understand how risk pools work and how actuaries crunch numbers.

The only way we could have healthcare for all and have pre-existing conditions covered in an affordable manner is if everyone participated in the risk pool. If everyone (in some way) paid into the pool. That reduces the risk and the cost. That is also coupled with the idea that states would allow for the expansion of Medicaid to supplement the program as well. The states that allowed for the Medicaid expansion have more reasonable premium structures than states like Florida, whose governors would not expand Medicaid to help its citizens. The way Obama care is structured, it is based on the premise used in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which Florida uses. In Florida everyone who drives has to have PIP coverage. What that does is make sure that everyone in the risk pool ( risk of injury in auto accidents) is paying into the pool, which in turn, lowers cost in the end.. and reduces the ultimate medical cost along with eliminating the need for more lawsuits. What Obama did was what leaders  talked about and tried doing for  nearly a century, and  was unable to do.. but he did it, and he did it  the only way it could have been done.

And, like Social Security and Medicaid, we will continue to work on it for many years in the future to improve it. He said as much himself when it became law. The Republicans now better understand and the American people are just going to have to get on board. Do you remember how many people died because of not having access to health care in the past, and because insurance companies would not cover pre-existing conditions, and how parents could not cover their college aged children?That's no more. Obamacare is transcendent policy. He did what no one else could do.

Another thing, while I am at it. I had newly graduated from college and was living in  San Diego California during the recession of 1982. At its height, unemployment was 12.3 percent. The world was not in a global economy to the degree it is today yet. During the last recession, if you may recall, things were so bad that people were seriously considering taking all of their money out of the bank. No president had ever had to steer a country out of a recession in a globalized economy before.. whereby when one country sneezes, the other has a cold. So, there was no road map to fixing it. No blueprint to follow. Obama was the first to have to do so. And, he actually did it. It was difficult, he had to make hard choices, take a lot of political hits that prevented him politically from getting some of his agenda passed later on, but he steered the ship clear away from a total global meltdown. He was not a perfect president. But he proved to be the president we needed during that time, with the steady hand, cerebral deliberation, and resolve. Also, he was a pretty smart guy, devoted husband and caring Dad ... a good American.


Michael  Dobson, is a long time Tallahassee based governmental relations professional and columnist; President/CEO of Dobson, Craig and Associates (aka Dobson and Associates),Chairman of Florida Voters Campaign PAC and renewable energy policy leader as founder of Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association. Can be reached at michael@michaeldobson.org or Michael@dobsonandcraig.com

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Today’s Florida Democratic Party Likely Not Racist, Just Tone Death

restore right to vote


As leader of the Florida Democratic Party, Is Mr. Stephen Bittel  a racist? I doubt it.

Was Mr. Bittels suggestion that members of the legislative Black Caucus were acting “childish”, a racist statement? No, of course not. Does the fact that Mr. Bittel suggested that the Black caucus members were the only legislators upset about being snubbed, when Rep.  Janet Cruz and others felt the same way confirm that Mr. Bittel is a racist? No.

Does the party have a racist recent past? Yes.  Recent history and plenty of evidence show there to be a pattern of disrespect when it comes to black legislators and voters within their own ranks. For instance, in 1998 Rep. Willie Logan ( Opa Locka) was slated to become the first Black Democratic House Minority leader . Then a racist thing happen. Certain legislators suggested he would be the wrong public face or image of the party, that he would be the wrong image to face Democratic voters and donors in North Florida. To save face, the public case against what they saw was Mr. Logan’s unsuitability, was the idea that he would be an ineffective fundraiser.  Mind you, all of this was done to Mr. Logan by well meaning white Democrats, who then replaced him with a white Democrat.

Prior to that ,  during the 1992 redistricting fight, in order to have more black members in congress  the legislative black caucus developed their own redistricting plan,  splitting with Democratic Party Leadership. The Black caucus plan gave them four Black US congressional seats, while the Florida Democratic Party allowed for only one.  Historically, there are many instances whereby white Democratic leaders have given scant respect to the wishes of black voters beyond mere words.

For instance, the Democratic Party is fully aware that in Florida nearly 1.5 million taxpayers (who are disproportionately black) cannot vote because of a past felony. And the party knows that there is a chance to have that issue on the November 2018 ballot.  The Democratic Party knows this is an important issue for black voters. But, has the Democratic Party written a check to the organization seeking to secure the petitions needed to make the ballot? No.. not a red penny. Here’s why. The Democratic Party has made a “business” decision that putting resources in that initiative would be a waste of resources. That is because, as the reasoning goes, the initiative will only get the voters out to the polls that are going to vote Democrat anyway. Therefore, there is no reason to spend money on that… as their thinking goes.

For those of you sleeping, the current policy regarding restoration of voting rights is rooted in racism and has as a goal to maintain parts of Jim Crow law.  This base racism and bigotry stems from the late 18th century and early 19th century , when as a response to increased black voting after reconstruction , southern political leaders began disenfranchising voters with felony records, knowing that most would be black… as blacks get prosecuted more than whites( not necessary transgressing the law more), to reduce the black vote. So, while the Florida Democratic Party will not provide any resources into the effort, to their credit, the local Democratic Executive committees are helping, but with no money… nada from Stephen Bittel and the gang… the gang who “says” this is an important issue. Is it racist? No, but it is certainly tone death and will be regretted.

It is tone death because by not putting skin in the game on this initiative, the party is simply doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In each of the last few gubernatorial elections in Florida, when the dust settles, Democratic pundits and strategist blame the close loss on African Americans. They say Africa Americans didn’t turn out to vote as needed or anticipated. What they don’t say is that the Democratic candidate was uninspiring, which gets us back to November 2018.

The party must ask itself the hard question. Will a Chris  King or a Gwen Graham fire up the black community enough to have black voter enthusiasm at an all time high? More than likely not. The Democratic Party will then wish it had the restoration of voting rights amendment on the ballot to energize those voters, if it doesn’t make the ballot.  Disrespecting and taking the black vote for granted has come back to haunt the Democratic Party year after year. Mr. Bittel, please study your history and act accordingly. Do you   remember 1998 when a large swath of the black vote went to Jeb Bush? Well, it could happen again if the Democratic Party forgets to show the black voters some love.

Michael  Dobson, is a long time Tallahassee based governmental relations professional and columnist; President/CEO of Dobson, Craig and Associates (aka Dobson and Associates),Chairman of Florida Voters Campaign PAC and renewable energy policy leader as founder of Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association. Can be reached at michael@michaeldobson.org or Michael@dobsonandcraig.com

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