THE HERMINATOR: How Cain Killed Hillary Care

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WASHINGTON MONTHLY: In a surprising swing in the Republican presidential field, Herman Cain has rocketed to second place, just behind Mitt Romney. Like all the other candidates, he has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and even claimed (falsely) that he would have died from his liver cancer under Obamacare. Cain actually got his start in politics helping to defeat the 90’s health care reform plan. MORE

NEWSWEEK: The Clintons would later blame “Harry and Louise,” the fictional couple in the ads aired by the insurance industry, for undermining health reform. But the real saboteurs are named Herman and John. Herman Cain is the president of Godfather’s Pizza and president-elect of the National Restaurant Association. An articulate black entrepreneur, Cain transformed the debate when he challenged Clinton at a town meeting in Kansas City, Mo., last April…While Cain looks the part of a striving small businessman, John Motley, chief lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), looks like, well, a Washington lobbyist… Motley mobilized thousands of small businessmen, including “the Guardians” (the NFIB’s 40,000 most reliable members), to work their local representatives…The NFIB was also effective in lobbying other lobbying groups. They had small businessmen lean on their doctors — and before long, the AMA…came out against employer mandates. The NFIB pressured the [US] Chamber of Commerce by urging small businessmen to quit in protest of the chamber’s support of employer mandates. When the chamber’s dues began to drop precipitously, the chamber, too, reversed its position in February. MORE

WASHINGTON MONTHLY: One might have wondered what ideas Cain and the GOP would offer. After all, it was concerted opposition and a media blitz from Republicans (Bill Kristol famously told the GOP to oppose reform “sight unseen”), medical organizations, and lobbyists from the insurance industry and small business that sunk the Clinton effort. But though Republicans had a counter-proposal to Clinton in 1993 (notably including an individual mandate), during the Bush years no comprehensive reform was even proposed, and the issue festered. From 1995 to 2008 health care costs more than doubled. MORE

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