In terms of pure polling, pizza mogul Herman Cain has not been much of a factor in the Republican field. But he's a powerful purveyor of ideas, especially that under health reform he would not have survived his cancer diagnosis. "My surgeons and doctors have told me that because I was able to get the treatment as fast as I could, based upon my timetable and not the government’s timetable that’s what saved my life," Mr. Cain said in the debate last night.
Dying of cancer while waiting for a government OK would be a scary thought, if it were true:
Mr. Cain attributes his excellent outcome to the fact that once his cancer was detected, there were no delays in getting subsequent CT scans, tests, second opinions, and therapy. I’m not sure that Mr. Cain is aware that he was only able to get those things in a speedy fashion either because he had health insurance or because he is very wealthy. If you’re uninsured, you will experience enormous delays in getting tests, second opinions, and therapy, as you figure out how to get them paid for. In many cases, you may not get them at all. In other words, if you’re uninsured, you are more likely to die.
What's really scary is going without health insurance. One study suggests that we lose 45,000 Americans every year because of that -- this is the result of policy, and it matters. Now we're beginning to see fewer young adults going without benefits. They're better off thanks to health reform, demonstrably so.
(h/t Andrew Sullivan)