What proved to be even a surprise move to the Florida Senate was the Florida House members’ decision to end their legislative session early! They simply called it a wrap and left Tallahassee three days before the regular session was scheduled to end!
Why, you ask? They simply did not want to pass legislation or a budget that would significantly impact people of African Americans or Hispanics, nor any legislation that gave the appearance of supporting The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Their decision to go home early was not without catastrophic implication. They did not approve the state budget nor did they approve legislation that could have potentially provided healthcare to almost 800,000 low-income individuals by expanding Medicaid and funding for hospitals who won’t turn anyone away!
This action occurred at a time when African Americans’ health status seems to be in decline as evidenced below:
• “The African American death rates are directly related to the state of black America. America is experiencing a crisis in healthcare, obesity, cancer, and other chronic and seriously fatal illnesses. This crisis like most others has a greater affect in the black community. They have less access to appropriate health care and that includes preventative care for children and adults. So African Americans are not only more susceptible to disease and illness, they are also more likely to die from them. Even when the incident rate is lower for a particular disease such as Leukemia, the black death rates are higher due to lack of access to appropriate health care.” blackdemographics.com/health-2/health/
• Statistics from the CDC report 37.9 percent of non-Hispanic black or African-American men 20 years and over are obese
• Statistics from the CDC report 57.6 percent non-Hispanic black or African-American women 20 years and over are obese
• Statistics from the CDC report 39.9 percent of non-Hispanic black or African- American men 20 years and over experience hypertension
• Statistics from the CDC report 44.5 percent of non-Hispanic black or African American women 20 years and over experience hypertension
However, even with statistics like these at the tip of our leaders hands, as opposed to putting politics aside, as opposed to putting their disdain for President Obama aside, in spite of House Speaker Steve Crisafulli providing his comrades with the dates in August 2014 for their 60 day regular session schedule beginning on March 3, the House decided to take it to the house on Tues., April 28 as opposed to Fri., May 1. They left with their jobs undone. Just consider what would happen if you or I decided on a whim we were going to leave work on Tuesday as opposed to working a full workweek. We would be fired!
Family, if this isn’t a clear message that we have got to get off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and turn off “Empire,” “Scandal” and “Atlanta Housewives” just to name a few, I don’t know what clearer a message we can receive than black lives just don’t matter, and the only way we can get someone to act on our behalf is when they see us collectively acting on our own behalf!
~ Maria L. Scruggs