Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain continues to make a ridiculous argument about the Affordable Care Act, and it’s important the public realize that the candidate is simply lying.

Here was his pitch in last night’s debate, explaining why he “would be dead under Obamacare.”

“[M]y cancer was detected in March of 2006. From March 2006 all the way to the end of 2006, for that number of months, I was able to get the necessary CAT scan tests, go to the necessary doctors, get a second opinion, get chemotherapy, go — get surgery, recuperate from surgery, get more chemotherapy in a span of nine months. If we had been under Obamacare and a bureaucrat was trying to tell me when I could get that CAT scan that would have delayed by treatment.

“My surgeons and doctors have told me that because I was able get the treatment as fast as I could, based upon my timetable and not the government’s timetable that’s what saved my life, because I only had a 30 percent chance of survival. And now I’m here five years cancer free, because I could do it on my timetable and not a bureaucrat’s timetable.

“This is one of the reasons I believe a lot of people are objecting to Obamacare, because we need get bureaucrats out of the business of trying to micromanage health care in this nation.”

Fox News’ Steve Doocy gushed this morning that the argument was “very, very powerful.” What Doocy may not understand is that Cain was also very, very wrong.

What we’ve had for many years is a system in which bureaucrats have, in fact, gotten between patients and care, “micromanaging” treatment decisions and imposing “timetables.” Those bureaucrats, of course, have worked for private insurance companies, and consumers had little recourse.

The Affordable Care Act mandates consumer protections — no lifetime limits, no annual limits, no rejections based on pre-existing conditions, etc. — that empower Americans against these bureaucratic hurdles.

What Cain is peddling is little more than “death panel” garbage without the literal phrase.

Kate Conway recently explained, “What the Affordable Care Act does do is increase access to health care coverage so that other people (people without Cain’s pizza fortune) who find themselves facing a diagnosis like Cain’s can afford quality treatment. It also makes it illegal for insurance companies to drop patients diagnosed with serious (and expensive) illnesses based on unintentional errors on applications. It’s kind of twisted that Cain uses his against-the-odds recovery to condemn a policy that could help others less fortunate than him beat similar obstacles.”

There’s a reason the American Cancer Society was an enthusiastic supporter of the Affordable Care Act — it will save lives.

Everything Herman Cain said last night was completely wrong.

Update: Another good take: “The ACA does not include death panels, it gives more people insurance, and it makes colon cancer screening free. You may not like the ACA, but it doesn’t make it more likely that you will die from colon cancer. It does just the opposite.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.