By C.S. Gilbert

Keys Senator Dwight Bullard visited the southernmost reaches of his district Monday to address a meeting of the Monroe County Democrats at the Roosevelt Blvd. VFW, urging them to give the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, time enough to take root and grow.


“Embrace it. Let it marinate. Give it time,” he said metaphorically, sounding exactly like the educator, and ranking member of the Florida State Senate education committee, that he is.  “All good things take time. This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, an endurance race” – comparing it to President Kennedy’s early 1960s vision of getting to the moon. He didn’t live to see it, Bullard said, “but by ’69 we were there.”


Bullard also cited historical precedence for social programs that faced initial opposition and took time to win the public trust. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Social Security, originally intended only for widows and war veterans, “kept many Americans from falling into abject poverty for the last 50 years.” Similarly, Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Medicare and Medicaid now protect the nation’s elders and poor from death due to the lack of medical care.


“Imagine 50 years from now—a society that offers full health care to all its citizens,” he said.


In 2008 both Obama and Romney made campaign promises to make affordable health care a priority. “Both candidates!” he emphasized. “The guy who won did it—using ideas from the guy he beat!” The suggestion was that the strong GOP opposition was based on something other than the merits or demerits of the program, which was largely based on the Romney/Massachusetts model—which is reportedly working well.


Be patient and strong in support of ACA, Bullard urged. “Getting health care to 42 million people isn’t supposed to be easy.”


Answering audience questions, he condemned outrageous insurance costs, supporting (as with ACA) policies that would allow people to purchase coverage that best suited their needs, and predicted that, if the public wants it, a high speed rail connection between Key West and Miami within the next 20 years.


The Senator urged anyone who wished to reach him to phone his Keys liaison Tyrell Hall at (305) 815-1153.

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