160px-Jim_DeMint.jpgThis is why the whole idea of "bipartisan" health care reform was always a stupid fantasy. (UPDATE)

On a Friday conference call with conservative activists dealing with health care reform, in what is sure to become a rallying point for the White House, Sen. Jim DeMint said "If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."

For Republicans, this is a zero-sum game: if 76% of Americans get what they want, Obama wins. And they can’t let that happen. It’s really that simple.

Meanwhile, as Jim DeMint puts party before country, the people he’s supposed to be representing are suffering.

After 25 years with the same company, Andy Stark lost his job and his health insurance.

While he found other work, it paid 30 percent less and had no benefits.

Then his wife got cancer.

Now the Simpsonville couple is struggling to pay medical bills they expect will total about $140,000.

“This is not the way things should be in America,” Andy Stark said.

The Starks lost their insurance after Andy was laid off, and they couldn’t afford COBRA premiums. That was before the cancer diagnosis. And they’re hardly alone.

In South Carolina, 670 people a week lose their health coverage, according to data from Families USA. In the decade ending in 2008, premiums soared 119 percent, increasing costs to employers and workers and adding to the spiraling cost of health care, according to the nonprofit group.

Jim DeMint’s and the GOP’s answer? Screw them. It’s all about defeating Obama.

UPDATE

Obama hits back — hard.

OBAMA: Just the other day, one Republican Senator said, and I’m quoting him now, “if we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” Think about that. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about politics. It is about a health care system that is breaking American families, breaking America’s businesses and breaking America’s economy.

More, please.