The Most Powerful Health Care Speech Didn't Belong to John McCain

By:  Meredith Clark
Health care is safe (for now) after months of fighting. Arizona Senator John McCain may be getting the praise for his vote Thursday against the GOP's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but the most powerful speech of the night came from one of his Democratic colleagues—one who is also battling cancer.

Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono called out her fellow lawmakers for trying to deny people the kind of care they all get through their insurance. Hirono was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer in May, and she reminded Republicans that they should show their constituents the same compassion they showed her. "You showed me your care; you showed me your compassion—where is that tonight?" she said. "I find it hard to believe we can sit here and vote on a bill that is going to hurt millions and millions of people in our country."

Hirono also talked about her childhood in rural Japan, where her family didn't have access to health care. Her sister died of pneumonia at age two because her parents couldn't afford to get her medical treatment. Through tears, she said, "She died at home, not in a hospital where she could have been saved."