Sen. DeMint: 'It's Going to Take a Few Years' to Repeal ObamaCare

By Fred Lucas | September 20, 2010 | 10:36 AM EDT

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Washington ( – Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C) said it could take years to repeal the Democrats' $1-trillion health care overhaul mandating the individual purchase of health insurance.

DeMint, in an interview with during the Values Voters Summit on Friday, also said the Republican Party should run on the economic plan presented by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to address tax policy and solvency for Social Security and Medicare.

“It’s going take a few years” to repeal the health-care reform bill, DeMint told “What we can do after this election is delay the funding and implementation of the bill and then get a president in 2012 who understands this is going to ruin medicine and bankrupt our country.”

The Ryan plan, "A Roadmap for America's Future," has only 13 co-sponsors in the House and has not become a platform for the 2010 mid-term elections. asked DeMint if the Ryan plan should be similar to the 1994 “Contract with America,” the platform that helped Republicans retake Congress that year.

“Paul Ryan’s roadmap to the future is the only comprehensive legislation now that fixes our tax code, saves Social Security and Medicare and fixes our health care system and begins to cut spending over a long period of time,” DeMint said.

“The fact that it has been so difficult to get congressmen and senators to even have a hearing on something like this just tells you that our focus is not on the national interest, it’s on self-serving political interests that are symbolized by this earmark factory,” he added.

The Congressional Budget Office said the “roadmap” would put Medicare on a more sustainable path. The Ryan plan preserves Medicare and Social Security for those 55 and older, but it reforms the program to preserve it for younger generations.

In a campaign season revolving around fiscal responsibility, DeMint said that earmarks would be a top priority.

“The first thing we have to cut is the earmark factory we have in Washington,” he said. “When we’re constantly focused on taking home the bacon, focused on parochial interests, we can’t focus on the national interests. I think when America sees us giving up self-serving earmarks, they’ll start believing that we’re really serious about cutting spending.”