State program may be privatized

Health care costs are on the rise and are forcing states to drain funds from other state agencies and departments for health care assistance for the elderly, poor and disabled. Although there was massive spending on services like Medicaid and Medicare last year, the drastic number of uninsured Americans continually rises.

According to, Florida is the fifth largest state in the nation in Medicaid spending. There are about two million Floridians eligible for the state-funded program.

Gov. Jeb Bush announced Tuesday plans to privatize the program because of the increases in the state’s program costs.

The plan is expected to give citizens with different health care needs more flexibility to choose between health care plans, according to the governor.

Although Medicaid costs in Florida have been devouring larger amounts of the state budget, many of the poor are still uninsured.

This plan has been projected to threaten current Medicaid beneficiaries because of the fact that private practice physicians will now determine if a citizen is eligible for health care assistance.

These citizens may even have all of their health-related issues and decisions handled by money-hungry companies.

First President Bush proposed to privatize social security. Now Gov. Bush proposes to privatize Medicaid. What’s next? Maybe law enforcement or homeland security.

The 2005 Florida Legislature has yet to deliberate on this proposal.

Let’s just hope they make the “right” decision for the best interest of their constituents.

Democrats’ tactics lost election

Nearly two months after the presidential election, democratic supporters and anti-Bush advocates are still grappling with John Kerry’s loss. And the Rev. Al Sharpton is no exception to this since his recent claim that President Bush duped black voters.

While speaking at Atlanta’s Butler Street Christian Methodist Episcopal Sunday, Sharpton accused Bush of swindling votes from blacks by promoting his support of a ban on gay marriage.

“I think George Bush manipulated a lot of religious feelings about marriage when the president has little or nothing to do with marriage,” Sharpton said.

But the excuse that blacks cost the election by voting for Bush merely because of his religious stance is just as manipulative when the democratic loss can be attributed to a host of problems.

However, the main issues can be attributed to the fact that Democrats did not campaign as aggressively as Republicans, did not attempt to court their constituent base as opposed to going after swing votes and ultimately endorsed a candidate with too many leadership flaws.

It is impossible for him to overlook his political party’s blatant shortcomings and chalk up Kerry’s loss to a smokescreen campaign.

It is also insulting for him to say that black voters were conned by President Bush when he expounded his claim that Bush secured black votes by using gay marriage as a means to avoid domestic issues and the war in Iraq.

If the Rev. Al Sharpton is supposed to be a leader of his people he must admit a loss and have more faith that black voters knew the issues at stake when they went to the polling booths.