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Sen. Michael Bennet discloses cancer diagnosis, still wants to run for president

Colorado Democrat expects to seek White House if he is cancer-free

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., still wants to run for president in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., still wants to run for president in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Michael Bennet has a new complication before he decides for sure whether to run for president in 2020: prostate cancer.

The Colorado Democrat made his diagnosis public in a Wednesday interview with the Colorado Independent. He got the news after a routine physical, ahead of launching his expected White House bid.

“The idea was to announce sometime in April,” Bennet said. “That was the plan. We hired some staff. We interviewed people for positions in New Hampshire and Iowa. And then I went for the physical. In my last physical, my PSA was high. They did a biopsy, and it was clear. But this time, it was not clear.”

The normally reserved Bennet actually went viral back in January, fueling questions about what he was intending for 2020, and in the Colorado Independent interview, he suggested he does plan to run for president if he is cancer-free.

Also watch: Rep. Gwen Moore announces cancer diagnosis and remission, praises ACA

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Bennet was among the most vocal on the Senate floor Wednesday ahead of the “nuclear option” votes, and he had been scheduled to attend campaign-style events in New Hampshire this weekend, including stops in Concord and Nashua.

Bennet, 54, said he was advised by his doctors that surgery to remove the prostate gland would be the most prudent course. The Colorado senator said that he wanted to provide the medical update before people wondered if there was a more serious condition.

“In all honesty, I know nobody likes being told they have cancer, but I see myself as actually having been lucky,” Bennet told the news outlet. “It was detected early. It is highly treatable. I have insurance through Kaiser Permanente. I feel lucky that the doctors found it. I feel lucky that I’ll probably be OK.”

On Tuesday, Bennet re introduced his so-called Medicare X proposal, which would allow Americans to buy into a government-run insurance plan.

He touted the plan to his campaign email list on Wednesday — hours before going public with his own diagnosis.

“Every day, people’s lives are turned upside down because of the skyrocketing costs of health insurance, or because they have no health insurance at all,” the email reads. “That is unacceptable.”

Simone Pathé contributed to this report.Also watch: Rep. Gwen Moore announces cancer diagnosis and remission, praises ACA

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