Hillary Clinton pledges to put ‘kids and families front and center’ during campaign stop in Delaware County
HAVERFORD >> A town hall featuring Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton filled the Haverford Community Rec Center Tuesday to participate with the former first lady and daughter Chelsea Clinton in town hall conversation about potentially becoming the first female president of the United States.
“I want to do everything possible to put kids and families front and center, to make sure that we provide the opportunities that families deserve to have to have good jobs with rising incomes, the ability to pay for the necessities of life, affordable child care, affordable college,” said Clinton, who was introduced by actress Elizabeth Banks, a University of Penn alumna.
For an hour, Clinton touched on the topics of education, health care, police policies, women’s
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that everyone has quality, affordable health care. And that means we’ve got to fix the Affordable Care Act, keep what works about it but improve it (and) get the costs down." — Hillary Clinton
rights, criminal justice reform and climate change, while keeping attacks on her GOP opponent, Donald Trump, to a minimum.
“As I have now crisscrossed the country almost nonstop for about 18 months, people talk to me about what’s in the headlines,” Clinton said. “They’ll ask me about something that my opponent said and what it means, or about the economy. But very often, what people want to talk to me about is what keeps them up at night.”
On affordable health care for children, Clinton said in many places it costs more than in-state college tuition, and that often both of those expenses are putting individuals in financial debt, a topic that struck a note with a local woman in attendance.
“I appreciated her focus on families and what she intends to do with the Affordable Care Act,” said Annamarie Jones, who admitted to dealing with staggering debt. “We voted for Obama because of the ACA, but hearing her talk about loan forbearance shows she has a focus on families, which Donald Trump does not.”
In terms of health care, Clinton said she plans to work with the ACA to improve upon what Barack Obama had implemented when Clinton acted as Secretary of State in the beginning of his presidency. Clinton had been a supporter of the public option, which would implement a government-run health insurance agency, but that plan was scrapped in the drafting phase of the ACA. Many opponents fear the federal government would be able to undercut the costs of private insurance companies, essentially nullifying competition in the marketplace.
However, Clinton’s focus on the matter Tuesday revolved around lowering the costs of health coverage within the parameters of the ACA.
“We’ve got to fix the Affordable Care Act, keep what works about it but improve it, get the costs down,” Clinton said. “Premiums and deductibles, prescription drug costs are way too high.”
Chelsea Clinton, now a mother to two children herself, has become intimately involved in the campaign, even garnering a prime time speaking spot at the Democratic National Convention where she introduced her mother the night Clinton accepted the nomination. And while she admitted to being “deeply biased” to her mother, Chelsea said this election was “intensely personal.”
“I am working as hard as I can in this campaign because I want every parent to be supported in making the right choices for their child, whether that’s breastfeeding or where to send their child to prekindergarten or where to send their child to college,” Chelsea Clinton said, admitting that she was breastfeeding her son, Aiden, to great applause by members of the audience.
“I talk about that very openly and publicly because I don’t think that should exist in the shadows and I don’t think that’s something that we should treat as abnormal,” she said.
Emily Anderson of Radnor said when she became a mother she had to choose between her career or being a parent, due to the lack of paid leave. She said she had voted for former President Bill Clinton mostly because she had seen Hillary speak at University College at Boulder in 1992.
“There’s a lot of talent lost when mothers have to leave their job,” Anderson said. “Not only do you lose your productivity, but it’s a loss to the workforce.”
Anderson said her grandmothers were born before women had the right to vote, but now that Clinton is “breaking down the wall,” and that women are starting to gain respect for “bearing a heavy burden.”
The daughter of state Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, of Upper Merion, Brennan Leach, 15, asked a question from the audience regarding body image for women.
“I see with my own eyes the damage Donald Trump does when he talks about women and how they look,” Brennan Leach said. “As the first female president, how would you undo some of that damage and help girls understand that they are so much more than just what they look like?”
“My opponent insulted Miss Universe,” Clinton said with a laugh. “I mean, how do you get more acclaimed than that? But it wasn’t good enough. So we can’t take any of this seriously anymore. We need to laugh at it. We need to refute it. We need to ignore it, and we need to stand up to it.”
The event’s final question was asked by Kayla Strine, 14, who was recently featured in a pro-Clinton advertising campaign regarding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which has subsidized greatly the cost of medication she needs.
“What are you going to do for people who were in my situation, who can’t necessarily pay for many medicines that are very expensive?” Strine asked. “What are you going to do for kids like me?”
“The Children’s Health Insurance Program is truly one of my most favorite policies that I’ve ever been involved in,” Clinton said. “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that everyone has quality, affordable health care. And that means we’ve got to fix the Affordable Care Act, keep what works about it but improve it (and) get the costs down.”
Hillary Clinton hugs actress Elizabeth Banks, left, as Chelsea Clinton waits her turn Tuesday at the Haverford Community Rec Center.
A top shot of the transformed Family Town Hall held at the Haverford Community Rec Center, featuring Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Elizabeth Banks.
Actress Elizabeth Banks, left, appeared with Hillary and Chelsea Clinton at Tuesday’s event in Haverford.