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Daniel Tilson: The real 'cycle of dependency' Florida should worry about

Are you stuck in a “cycle of dependency”? Um, not on alcohol or drugs or anything like that, but on the government?

For instance, do you count on your Social Security payment arriving in full and on time every month?

What about Medicare? Do you depend on your Medicare benefits to keep you alive and well?

How about all you ex-military people and families? Are veterans’ benefits something you rely on?

Do you believe you’ve earned the right to collect these benefits, that you’re entitled to them?

Now, do you take “personal responsibility” for accessing the benefits you depend on, or do you leave that to the federal government?

I believe it’s what conservatives call “big government” that takes responsibility for giving you the benefits you’ve earned and are entitled to. And as far as the facts go and show, the feds have done a damned good, consistent and cost-effective job of it.

Then why are so many of you willing to let anti-government big businessmen in elected office prevent Florida from moving forward with federally funded healthcare expansion?

Maybe an answer lies in a video released this week by Florida Roundtable. It fingers “the same lobbyists and big corporate hospitals who pushed Obamacare through Congress” as the culprits behind the effort to give all Floridians access to health insurance coverage.

Funny, but I remember it as being Democrats in Congress backed by support from millions of reform-hungry Americans who finally got the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed.

The video goes for the jugular by pinning down exactly who it is that Gov. Rick Scott and Florida House Republicans want your support in denying health insurance to: “…single, working age, able-bodied adults with no children … who do not work.”

Wow, bad enough they’re able-bodied, single and without children. But unemployed too? What the hell makes them think they’re entitled to health insurance? Better off breaking their cycle of dependency and making them take personal responsibility for their own misfortune…right?

That’s the thinly veiled messaging from Scott and the other rich white men in control of our government, such as Florida House Budget Chair Richard Corcoran. And all that lay there under that rhetorical veil spun by the best conservative spin-doctors Republican money can buy is shameless scapegoating and an appeal to your baser instincts.

You sure as hell won’t find the whole truth — that more than 60 percent of uninsured people in the “Florida Coverage Gap” are working, but at low-wage jobs leaving them ineligible for both Medicaid and subsidized ACA coverage. And you won’t hear countless stories of people who’ve lost their jobs but desperately keep looking for work.

What you will keep hearing is Corcoran, Scott and allies doubling down on disingenuous double-talk about “protecting taxpayers.” To hell with facts proving they’re the ones giving away billions of dollars annually in tax dodges to giant corporate donors, while maintaining what’s statistically the second most unfair tax system in America. They count on the public not knowing, or being talked into disbelieving or disregarding such facts, in favor of resenting all those awful uninsured adults looking to stay alive.

And hey, guess what? Turns out the Florida Roundtable behind the video and other anti-expansion propaganda flowing freely across Florida now is none other than Corcoran’s own Political Action Committee. So count on plenty more propaganda to come.

It’s almost as if it’s a … cycle of dependency on divisiveness and deception — one that sooner or later Corcoran and the rest should have to take both personal and professional responsibility for.

Daniel Tilson has a Boca Raton-based communications firm called Full Cup Media, specializing in online video and written content for nonprofits, political candidates and organizations, and small businesses. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

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