Tags: demint | obama | healthcare

DeMint: U.S. Doesn't Want Fed 'Takeover of Healthcare'

By Jim Meyers   |   Wednesday, 09 Sep 2009 06:44 PM

Sen. Jim DeMint tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama has been "slow in learning" that the American people do not want what DeMint calls a "government takeover of healthcare."

The South Carolina Republican also predicted Republicans will vote unanimously against any healthcare reform plan that includes such a takeover.

See Video: Jim DeMint talks about why Americans don’t want Obama’s socialized medical plans - Click Here Now

DeMint was elected to the Senate in 2004 after serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has introduced the Health Care Freedom Act to provide uninsured Americans with money to buy health insurance.

DeMint was ranked by National Journal as the most conservative U.S. senator in March 2007 and again in 2008, and he was one of two senators to vote against Hillary Clinton's confirmation to become Secretary of State.

As President Obama prepared to speak to the American people about healthcare on Wednesday night, Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter asked DeMint about Obama's expected endorsement of the public option on health insurance.

"He seems to be a little slow in learning that the American people do not want the government to have a national insurance plan that would end up causing many Americans to lose their private policies," DeMint said.

"I know all over the country millions of Americans spoke out against this so-called public option, which is essentially a government takeover of our healthcare."

Walter aside what DeMint would like to hear from the president in his speech.

"He needs to talk about specifics instead of these broad generalities, these promises, these goals," said DeMint, author of the new book "Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism."

"Many of us share the same goal — that every American should have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. But he doesn't get into the specifics of defending this thousand-page bill that's passed the House, and a similar version here in the Senate, that...all the outside analysts say would cause people to lose their private health insurance.

"The president needs to defend his plan and stop criticizing those of us who are offering alternatives.

"He needs to listen to some of these ideas that will make what is working work better. We need to fix what's broken. We don't need to throw out the healthcare system that's one of the best in the world and replace it with a government-run system.

"We can do better, but so far the only thing the president's been willing to talk about is what type of government plan we will have."

Walter observed that the White House wants support for healthcare reform from both parties, and asked DeMint what the Republican response is likely to be.

"I think Republicans will vote unanimously against a government takeover of healthcare," the senator responded.

"Now the question is, can the president finesse it and dress it up with words that sound different, and will a few Republicans buy that? I hope not. And I think the American people have said they're not going to buy it.

"What the president wants to do is not to get everyone insured. He is pushing for a government takeover of healthcare."

Asked if he would support a compromise plan that wouldn’t initially include a public option, DeMint declared: "We don't need to do that when there are better options available.

"What about interstate competition? What about fair tax treatment of people who don't get their health insurance at work? What about tort reform? Lawsuit abuse costs our system and costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

"Let's talk about what's broken instead of jumping to some expansion of government. Americans do not believe the government can run our healthcare system and I don't either, and there's no reason for us to think that it could.

"The fact that the president won't even address the obvious, such as tort reform, suggests that his agenda is very different than getting healthcare in the hands of every American."

DeMint said that if the Democrats maneuver to pass healthcare reform with only a 51-vote majority, "I think the American people will revolt against it."

He also said it is "patently false" that Republicans have not offered solutions to what ails the healthcare system.

"There are a number of proposals, and I've got a lot of them in my plan, the Health Care Freedom Act, that would make the healthcare system work better and make affordable health insurance available to every American," he added.

"The fact that these ideas are not being listened to suggests there is a very different agenda. Everything the Democrats are proposing, and everything the president is talking about, would move government more in control of healthcare decisions and our actual health insurance.

"There does not seem to be a good-faith effort here on the part of the president and the Democratic majority to actually improve the system we've got. They want to replace it, and they've said as much many times. They're all on record wanting a single-payer government healthcare system."

See Video: Jim DeMint talks about why Americans don’t want Obama’s socialized medical plans - Click Here Now

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