From NBC's Chuck Todd and Mark Murray
In his interview with the Charleston Post & Courier, Sen. Jim DeMint (R) says that not passing health-care reform will result in a single-payer system.
P&C: What are the most serious things that will happen if nothing changes in the health care arena?
DeMint: If nothing is done, we're likely to end up with a single-payer system anyway in a few years. Every year we're ratcheting down what we're paying doctors and hospitals for Medicare and Medicaid, which means the cost shifting gets greater and fewer employers can offer health insurance. What we're doing is driving the private market out of business anyway, and I think that's why they don't want anything to pass that would make it easier for people to have their own insurance. So if we don't do anything, that's bad too. That's why I made the point -- I could have calibrated my words differently -- that we have to stop the president on this health care thing. ... If it's completely socialized or nationalized, whatever you want to call it, then you've got over half of the American economy in the government hands at some point, and the free enterprise system doesn't work anymore if the government is that involved. So we've got to make a stand here. We've got to stop it. My hope has always been if we could stop them on this ... then we could move on to real freedom solutions that will work in every area of society. That was the last part of my sentence.