By Reid Wilson - 08/02/09 11:53 AM EDT
"What's going to happen is, you're going to see Americans take to the street in August, and go to their congressmen's office, and they're going to go to town halls, and I think they're going to let congressmen and senators know that they need to keep their hands off their health care," DeMint said on Fox News Sunday.
On Sunday, DeMint warned the Democratic plan would lead to a single-payer system akin to healthcare plans in Europe and Canada.
Americans, said DeMint, "know it's going to cut Medicare. They know it's going to raise taxes on the small businesses that create jobs. And they know it's going to eliminate jobs across the country."
Republicans have cast a surtax on wealthiest Americans, a proposal from House Ways and Means Committee chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), as a job-killer that disproportionately impacts small business owners.
But Rangel, appearing alongside DeMint, dismissed the notion that taxes would hurt those who would otherwise create new jobs.
"There is just no question that at the end of the day, America saves money, it's more productive, and this is something that is long -- very long -- overdue," Rangel said.
All three House committees with jurisdiction over healthcare reform have passed a version of the bill, as has the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. But as negotiations between Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking Republican Charles Grassley (Iowa) drag on, Rangel said he will not rule out any aspects of a deal that Baucus and company might produce.
"Whatever they do in the Senate, they have to combine two bills. They have to bring it to conference. We have three bills in the House that we successfully passed. We have to get one bill. We have to go into conference," Rangel said.
"I don't think either side, Republican or Democrat, should be saying at this point in time what we're going to reject and what is not acceptable," the Democrat added. "The truth of the matter is when this is over, all Americans should feel more secure as it relates to national health insurance. And that's what I'm working toward."
Meanwhile, Rangel said Republicans have no plans of their own, and though Republicans have said they would work toward healthcare reform, Rangel said the GOP brings nothing to the table.
"There is no Republican plan. All they have done is to be critical," Rangel said. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has offered a Republican alternative, "doesn't even have the support of the Republicans on the [Ways and Means] committee."