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Today on Context Florida: Year of the manufacturer, Rubio’s chutzpah and pharma budgets

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Today on Context Florida:

Jac VerSteeg agrees with Gov. Rick Scott’s central message: “It’s the year of the manufacturer.” But he is not attaching quite the same meaning to his words as the governor did. The governor’s intention is to extend a tax break for manufacturing equipment and put plenty of fresh dollars into an incentive pot to lure companies to Florida. But as the 2016 elections approaches, we will see candidates from the presidential election on down to the municipal level “manufacturing” campaign claims, both those intended to pat themselves on the back and those intended to slit the competition’s throat.

Peter Schorsch points out how Team Marco Rubio conjured a fundraising win via some news release hocus-pocus. On one level – the level of the conniving campaign operative who will do anything to score a great headline during a news cycle – one has to admire the chutzpah and financial misdirection that Rubio pulled off last week.

The rising expense of pharmaceuticals is expected to put extra pressure on Florida’s budget next year, with the Department of Corrections, worker health insurance plans, and Medicaid shouldering most of the burden. New specialty drugs in particular are fanning the budgetary flames, such as Sovaldi and Harvoni: 1,000 pills that cure Hepatitis C. Sarah Maricle Ayers notes that many observers see the waves of innovation that U.S. labs are churning out as representing a double-edged sword: New medicines will save lives, but kill budgets.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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