Jim DeMint On Health Care Reform: "Everyone Can Show Up At The Hospital" (VIDEO)

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Elyse Siegel Fmr. Deputy Managing Editor, The Huffington Post

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) was caught off guard when pressed about health care in Washington D.C. earlier this week.

In footage of the incident posted by mrcawguy on YouTube, the South Carolina lawmaker said that his goal in the Senate's health care debate is to make sure that "everyone has an affordable [insurance] policy that they can own and keep, but it is frustrating that this process has nothing to do with that."

DeMint did not appear to know how many people in his home state lack health insurance, or the number that have gone bankrupt as a result of sky-high medical bills.

On South Carolina residents' medical-related bankruptcies, he said:

There are a lot of numbers floating around and it's really hard to know exactly what that number is, but bankruptcies, personal bankruptcies, business bankruptcies that occur, certainly do not justify health reform that raises the price of health insurance, which is what all of the outside analysis is saying this would do.

On the size of South Carolina's uninsured population, DeMint echoed former President Bush: "No one is going to go without health care because everyone can show up at the hospital, that's just not the most efficient way to do it."

While DeMint may not know his state's health insurance statistics, Cover The Uninsured South Carolina does: 19.4% of the state's population lacks health insurance and 74% of that group cites affordability as the primary reason they have not purchased health coverage. Furthermore, each uninsured individual in South Carolina imposes a cost of $1,936 on the larger health care system.

WATCH: Jim Demint Botches Health Care Facts

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