By Rep. Alcee L. Hastings
As anyone who watched the news in 2000 knows, Florida has a way of shaping elections. On Tuesday, Floridians can pick a Democratic nominee for president, and, in the process, help put a candidate in the White House who can lead from day one.
Hillary Clinton is that candidate. She has plans to address our greatest challenges and the time-tested know-how to see them through. Like President Barack Obama, she understands that the federal government, in partnership with states, can boost the economy and even help save lives. Clinton would build on Obama’s biggest achievements, while helping families better meet their needs.
That process starts with job creation. Under Obama’s policies, we have bounced back from our nation’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and Florida has seen impressive growth numbers. In 2015 alone, our state gained nearly 250,000 jobs in the private sector. Yet for many residents, especially in minority communities, employment rates mean little when wages are still too low. We need our next president to continue growing the economy so more Floridians can find good-paying jobs and take care of their families.
Clinton’s job plan continues the momentum of economic gains under Obama. She would close tax loopholes for companies that move overseas, reduce taxes for struggling families, and put federal dollars into paving roads and fixing bridges. She would also demand equal pay for women and affordable access to college. These plans will benefit Floridians in every corner of our state.
For many workers, especially those on farms and in factories, one bad accident or an unexpected illness can put an uninsured family into debt or even bankruptcy. Thankfully, in the past few years, we have made progress toward providing more Floridians with affordable, high-quality health insurance.
More than 20 million Americans are now covered thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Today, 1.5 million people in Florida have health coverage who once did not. But there is still work to do.
Clinton will defend the Affordable Care Act, while building on its best parts. That includes reining in drug prices—a particular concern for our state’s many seniors. She would further expand clinics in rural areas and lower out-of-pocket costs for doctor visits.
Florida is too diverse a state for a one-issue candidate. Clinton’s plans tackle the many challenges we face, while breaking down barriers for all people. She would work each day to ensure that our jobs are in place and our health care is covered.
In the words of Zora Neale Hurston, one of Florida’s literary greats: “Those that don’t got it, can’t show it. Those that got it, can’t hide it.” Clinton has sure “got it,” and it’s blatantly clear to me. Voting for Clinton to be our next president can help the people of Florida. On March 15, she has my vote.