Michael Bennet’s cancer diagnosis delayed plans to announce his run for President of the United States, but did not thwart his run for office after a successful surgery.
Bennet has a clean bill of health, according to CNN. Michael Bennet has been a U.S. Senator in Colorado since 2009. He was previously a superintendent for Denver Public Schools.
Michael Bennet wrote an opinion column for Fortune discussing his diagnosis and plans for a public Medicare option, which he calls Medicare-X. He said his cancer was detected early because he had access to preventative care.
He is among a crowded pool of candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, although the debate stage is thinning. Bennet did not make the cut for the third debate on September 12, 2019, according to CNN. Candidates had to meet certain qualifications to make the debate stage. They need contributions from at least 130,000 individuals, coming from at least 400 unique donors in at least 20 states. They also needed to reach 2% in at least four Democratic National Committee-approved polls.
The debate will be held from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is hosted by ABC in Houston, Texas.
Bennet was the seventh member of the U.S. Senate seeking the Democratic nomination. Michael Bennet is 54 and lives in Colorado.
The first Democratic primary debate was at 9 p.m. June 26 and June 27 in Miami, Florida. The candidates debating each night were selected at random. The moderators were Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balart. There will be a total of 12 debates during the Democratic primary season, with six held in 2019. CNN hosted the second debate in Detroit on July 30 and 31.
Michael Bennet has a clean bill of health following prostate surgery in April, CNN reported. He announced his plan to run for President after doctors successfully removed the cancer.
“My plan is to run for president,” he told CBS This Morning. “I think this country faces two enormous challenges, one is a lack of economic mobility and opportunity for most Americans and the other is the need to restore integrity to our government.”
Bennet was diagnosed with cancer in late March, and had surgery in early April. His office announced the surgery was “completely successful,”
Here’s what you need to know:
He Has A Clean Bill of Health After Surgery
Michael Bennet was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late March. He quickly underwent surgery. His doctors announced the surgery was “completely successful” and gave the U.S. Senator and clean bill of health.
His office issued a statement April 19, saying the surgery was “completely successful.” He requires no further treatment.
“Last weekend, Michael underwent surgery and is recovering at his home in Colorado. His doctors report the surgery was completely successful and he requires no further treatment. Michael and his family deeply appreciate the well wishes and support from Coloradans and others across the country, and he looks forward to returning to work after the recess.”
His office also shared the announcement on Twitter, writing, “News from Team Bennet: Michael underwent a successful surgery & requires no further treatment. He’s looking forward to returning to work. Thanks to all for the well wishes.”
Shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer, Bennet shared a more personal statement on Twitter April 3.
“Late last month, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer,” he wrote in a statement. “While hearing news like this is never easy, I am fortunate it was detected early, and as a result my prognosis is good. During the upcoming Senate recess, I will have surgery in Colorado and return to work following a brief recovery.
“The work we have in front of us is to restore a politics that is worthy of our kids and grandkids has never been more important. This unanticipated hurdle only reinforces how strongly I feel about contributing to the larger conversation about the future of our country, and I am even more committed to drive that conversation in a positive direction.”
The next day, he wrote on Twitter, “Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. Susan, the girls, and I are grateful for your support.”
The Denver Post reported the diagnosis delayed his plans to announce his candidacy, but planned to run if the surgery was successful.
After the surgery, he told CBS the diagnosis was “very clarifying.” He said he was disappointed thinking he may not be able to run for the presidency.
“That gave me a chance to think about whether I really wanted to run or not,” he said on CBS.
Bennet further discussed his diagnosis and his plans for a public Medicare option, Medicare-X.
“My cancer was treatable because it was detected through preventive care,” he wrote. “The $94,000 bill didn’t bankrupt my family because I had insurance through my wife’s employer. But a diagnosis like this means something very different for the tens of millions of Americans who do not have health insurance. It’s pitiful that we are the only industrialized country in the world that has not figured out how to fix that.
“We need to cover everyone, lower costs, and improve the quality of insurance and care in our country. My plan to create a public option, called Medicare-X, is the most effective way to achieve these goals.”
He compared Medicare-X to Medicare for All, calling his plan “a true public option.”
“Some say the only way forward is to replace our current health care system with Medicare for All, giving everybody the same, government-provided coverage,” he wrote. “I can understand this impulse, given it’s our current system that is causing so much misery. But let’s examine the facts. Under Medicare for All, 177 million people who currently have private insurance, 70% of whom like it, would have that coverage taken away from them. Another 20 million who receive insurance through Medicare Advantage would lose it too. According to an Urban Institute study, Medicare for All would cost $32 trillion. Even Vermont, when it tried to pass a system like this, couldn’t because of the large tax increases needed to pay for it.
“This can’t be our best offer to the American people. And it doesn’t have to be.
“Medicare-X is a true public option, an insurance plan that would be available on the exchange for people to buy if they had no insurance or didn’t like their private insurance. It would start in rural areas with one or no insurer, where the market is currently failing too many people, to increase competition and lower costs. For the first time, it would allow the federal government to negotiate to reduce drug prices. Because Medicare-X’s payment rates to medical providers would be lower than those for private insurance, this public option would actually save taxpayer dollars and therefore reduce the deficit.”
He shared the article on Twitter, writing, “For too many families that receive a diagnosis like I did, it can mean tremendous burden or even bankruptcy because of our broken healthcare system. We need a public option called #MedicareX—to cover everyone, lower costs, and improve quality of care.”
On National Cancer Survivor’s Day June 2, he celebrated those who won battles with cancer and encouraged everyone to receive cancer screenings.
“On #NationalCancerSurvivorsDay, celebrating everyone who has bravely fought this disease & also encouraging others to get screened. I would never have known I had prostate cancer without a screening & will keep fighting so every American has access to preventative care,” he wrote.