Dr. Benjamin Carson declared Friday that "Obamacare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery."
Carson, a former professor of neurosurgery, oncology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, spoke Friday at the Values Voters Summit in Washington.
Dr. Benjamin Carson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton, Feb. 7, 2013 in Washington. (Getty Images)
"I have to tell you, you know, “Obamacare” is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," Carson said. "In a way, it is slavery, in a way because it is making all of us subservient to the government."
The statement prompted a strong standing ovation.
"It was never about health care," Carson continued. "It was about control and that’s why – that’s why when this administration took office it didn’t matter that the country was going off the cliff economically. All forces were directed toward getting this legislation passed."
Carson rose to prominence earlier this year for his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, and has fielded some calls to run for president in 2016. Carson didn't address that in his remarks, but is in company at the summit with numerous other presumed Republican contenders including Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
"Vladimir Lenin, one of the fathers of socialism, said that socialized medicine is the keystone to the establishment of a socialist state," Carson said. "Some people say, oh come on, you're being paranoid. Why would you bring up something like that. I would say if you know anything about history, how could you not bring that up."