Cain Presents Healthcare Views at Congressional Health Caucus

By ABC News

Nov 2, 2011 8:44pm

ABC News’ Serena Marshall reports:

Herman Cain, GOP presidential candidate, outlined three problems with healthcare that he would like to see fixed, starting with the immediate repeal of President Obama’s healthcare plan.

“I am 100 percent behind and will sign legislation as it hits my desk to appeal Obamacare in its entirety,” Cain said. “We are now just beginning to see some of the unintended consequences of this bad legislation.”

Cain, who has been in Washington all week, presented his views to the Congressional Health Care Caucus today as part of its Thought Leaders Series.

“Instead of costs going down, cost is going up. Instead of the quality of care being available to more people, it’s available to less,” Cain said. “This legislation has truly backfired.”

Cain, if elected, would want to sign a repeal on March 23, 2013 — exactly three years after President Obama signed the law, and a date that also coincides with Cain’s son’s birthday.

He then outlined alternative changes he would like to see as a replacement for President Obama’s plan.

“I support market-driven patient-centered reforms,” Cain said. “One of the guiding principles that I have always used as a businessman, that I will also use as president of the United States, is that if you want to solve the problem go to the source closest to the problem; in this case, doctors and patients. Not bureaucrats.”

During the talk he cited H.R. 3400 as a law he would “love to be able to sign.”

H.R. 3400, also known as the Empowering Patients First Act, a bill that was first introduced in the House in July 2009 by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., would lower costs in the health care system through clauses that would reduce mandated health coverage, provide insurers with subsidies and reduce medical liability insurance.

Cain made the point that healthcare is not the problem, but rather healthcare cost is to blame.

“It goes all the way back to 1943, when businesses in an attempt to attract the best people because of freezes on wages, started offering benefits,” Cain said. “Well, they never got out of that habit. So a paradigm has evolved that revolves around the employer paying for people’s health insurance, or part of it instead of the employee paying for it directly.”

He suggested that until people pay for their own healthcare insurance, the cost will continue to rise.

“People spend their money better than other people’s money,” Cain said. “I believe government’s role with respect to maintaining the best health care in the world is to stay out of the way.”

While discussing the healthcare system Cain mentioned his own fight with stage 4 cancer in 2006 in his colon and liver. His entire treatment lasted nine months.

“In some socialized medicine countries, you can’t get a cat scan in nine months, let alone an operation,” Cain said. “We have the best healthcare system in the world. And … if we allow this government sponsored socialized medicine approach to prevail, we will no longer have the best healthcare system in the world.”

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