Rubio offers specific policies to bolster his vision of strengthening the middle class

Rubio proposed a health care system with a Flexible Savings Account in the mold of Congress’s health plan, which “allows families to save tax free money to pay for medical bills.”

The government, Rubio said, should “expand the number of community health centers, as well as work with hospitals to find the best way to integrate them with their emergency rooms to try and get non-life threatening walk-ins to seek treatment there.”

To ensure that Americans are adequately prepared to enter the workforce, Rubio proposed “state level curriculum reform and new investment in continuing teacher training” to improve elementary and secondary schools, school choice as a means of getting kids out of failing public schools and expanded technical and vocational education.

He also suggested a move away from the four-year college model, and increased incorporation of online education to bring down the cost of tuition. (RELATED — Bill Gates: Jobs are available, but America’s education system is failing workers)

Rubio argued the student loan system needs to be reformed, so that people don’t finish their education with debt that takes them decades to pay off.

“The bottom line,” he said, “is we are trying to prepare 21st-century students using a 20th-century education model. Now is the time to be creative, innovative and daring in reforming the way we provide our people the skills they need to make it to the middle class.”

Just as important, Rubio said, is encouraging stable home life and family structure.

“Widespread societal breakdown is not something government can solve, and yet it is one that the government cannot ignore,” Rubio said. “We cannot separate the economic well-being of our people from their social well-being.”

The government’s role in addressing such problems, Rubio said, is “limited, yet important.”

“Rather than pretend we know the answer, we should start by engaging those who do important work every day in mentoring young people and leading them on the right path: their teachers, coaches, parents, priests and pastors. Government leaders should take part in, and encourage, a national conversation about the importance of civil society institutions and leaders in creating the social infrastructure needed for success.”