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In Jacksonville, Chelsea Clinton Touts Mom's Health Care, Child Care Plans

Ryan Benk

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, shared her mother’s support for expanded child care and parental leave at the All Saints Early Childhood Center in Jacksonville Thursday evening.

She also took aim at her mom’s rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, for what she called his unrealistic health care plan.

Chelsea Clinton told supporters, “She’s the only candidate on the Democratic or the Republican side who’s articulated exactly how she’s going to pay for everything. When independent economists looked at her plans, they’ve said how she’s going to pay for things really does tally up to the costs of what she’s proposing.”

On her website, Clinton advocates expanding the Affordable Care Act with things like incentives for governors to expand Medicaid, investing more in health care navigators to help people choose insurance plans, and allowing states to institute what she calls a “public option” for insurance.

Without mentioning Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by name, Clinton said her mother’s health care plan is the only plan that wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class.

Although he hasn’t released his full plan either, on the campaign trail, Sanders advocates for sweeping reform: making Medicare available for all, mostly through raising taxes on the highest earners. As Politico reports, using legislation Sanders sponsored in 2013 as a general model, he says he’d increase the payroll tax and taxes on individuals earning less than $200,000. In the end, he says, the plan could save people thousands of dollars on health care.

Chelsea Clinton took questions from parents and children during her short visit, and much of the discussion focused on child care and the Children’s Health Insurance Program her mom helped shepherd through Congress in the 90s.

Although he says he’s still unsure whether he’ll support Clinton or Sanders , attendee Josh Barron said he appreciates the topic of conversation.

He asked, “In the day in age that we live in, where mom and dad have to work, how can we have good child care like we get here at All Saints and how we can pay for that and still have money for vacations and maybe going out to eat once in a while?”

Florida awards delegates proportionately to the top vote earners in its Democratic primary, as long as they pass a certain threshold of votes. In contrast, the Florida Republican primary is a winner-take-all contest. Early voting ends Sunday, March 13. Primary day is March 15. 

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.