Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said universal health care should be available to all Americans. He was speaking at a charity event for prostate cancer survivors in Seattle.
Powell told the audience that countries in Europe, Canada and South Korea offer universal, single-payer health care and said he often asks why the United States has not implemented the same system.
"Whether it's Obamacare, or son of Obamacare, I don't care," Powell said. "As long as we get it done."
Powell, a retired four-star general, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and credits his survival to the universal health care provided by the United States military.
Sharing health stories with the audience about his wife, Alma, and a neighbor, Powell said he and his wife have never worried about whether their health care would bankrupt them. He contrasted his experience with his neighbor, Anne, who cannot afford the MRIs to identify tumors in her brain before doctors will operate on her. Powell said she has health insurance, but it does not cover MRI imaging. He said she was out of work and he gave her the funds three weeks ago to receive treatment.
"We are a wealthy enough country," Powell said, "with the capacity to make sure that every one of our fellow citizens has access to quality health care."