Washington, D.C.– As the media firestorm over decade-old sexual-harassment allegations continues, Herman Cain, in a Capitol Hill speech this afternoon, kept his remarks focused on health-care policy.
Cain, appearing in a small conference room in the Rayburn building, reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s health-care programs as scores of reporters and cameramen looked on.
“I am 100 percent behind — and will sign legislation as soon as it hits my desk — the repeal of Obamacare in its entirety, because it is a disaster,” he said. “And if Congress moves fast enough — hint, hint, hint — to give me the repeal legislation, I plan to sign the repeal on March 23, 2013, because it was on March 23, 2010, that President Obama signed that disastrous legislation into law, which happens to be my son’s birthday. So I’m gonna ‘un-pass’ it on my son’s birthday.”
Cain then discussed the “unintended consequences” of the legislation, including rising health-care costs and diminishing availability. Instead, he said, he supports “market-driven, patient-centered reform.”
“We do not have a health-care problem in America,” he said as he concluded his talk. “We have a health-care cost problem in America. And that’s different.” Americans need more customized benefit plans, he added, and insurers should be allowed to compete across state lines.
All of those thoughts were warmly welcomed by the scattered House Republicans in the first two rows. But he won applause when he talked about his own medical history. He noted that he had been diagnosed with cancer — which he described as “Stage 4.” After the implementation of the president’s health-care legislation, he argued, he may not have survived.
“Here is the coup d’état as to why our system saved my life. . . . My chance of surviving, when I went through cancer treatment, was 30 percent. Three-zero, 30 percent! If a bureaucrat had to make that decision on the likelihood that it would work, what do you think that bureaucrat would have said? Don’t waste the money.”
At that, a few members nodded. A few minutes later, Cain departed, surrounded by reporters — and not one asked about health care.