Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, on Tuesday continued the tit-for-tat he has going w/ President Obama on health care reform. Just now on the floor, DeMint said he has “no confidence the President actually wants to make health care affordable and available to all Americans,” noting that Obama voted against a number of Republican amendment last year that DeMint said would have brough health care costs down.
DeMint referred to a pooling of insurance by small businesses and health savings accounts, chiding the president and Democrats for voting against them.
In recent days, DeMint implored Republicans to defeat Obama’s reform efforts saying if they are successful, it will be Obama’s “Waterloo” — and that it “will break him,” referring to Obama.
Obama on Monday said, “This isn’t about me. This isn’t about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America’s families, breaking America’s businesses, and breaking America’s economy. And we can’t afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care, not this time, not now.”
Should Senate Democratic leadership bring a health care bill to the floor before the August recess, while highly doubtful, DeMint promised to bring forward an amendment that would impose any health plan newly-created by Congress on the members themselves.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, jumped into the fray Tuesday, mockingly calling statements like DeMint’s “brilliant” and saying, in general of the GOP, “Republicans aren’t interested in working with Democrats to fix this problem. That’s pretty clear. They simply want to maintain the status quo and keeping the insurance industry in charge of health care delivery.”
Meanwhile, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, took exception with reports that Republicans are merely trying to defeat heatlh care reform efforts, telling reporters, “I hear it said repeatedly by some on the other side that Republicans are not in favor of healthcare reform. I can’t find a single Republican senator who said that, nor whose speeches have not illustrated and underscored that we need to have healthcare reform. We do start with the notion, however, that we have the best healthcare in the world. Surveys indicate that American — the American people, when it comes to quality, believe that they have the best healthcare in the world. We know we have a cost problem, and we know we have an access problem.”