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McConnell On 30 Million Uninsured: 'That Is Not The Issue'


Mitch McConnell On 30 Million Uninsured: 'That Is Not The Issue'

WASHINGTON -- Republicans have said repeatedly that the landmark health care reform law, upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court last week, must be repealed and replaced. But the GOP leader in the U.S. Senate gave a surprising answer on "Fox News Sunday" when asked how Republicans would provide health care coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans.

"That is not the issue," Sen. Mitch McConnell said. "The question is how to go step by step to improve the American health care system. It is already the finest health care system in the world."

"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace interrupted, "You don't think 30 million uninsured is an issue?" [Video after the jump]

"We're not going to turn the American health care system into a western European system," McConnell said. "That's exactly what is at the heart of Obamacare. They want to ... have the federal government take over all American health care. The federal government can't handle Medicare or Medicaid."


Wallace pressed McConnell, noting that the Affordable Care Act will prohibit insurance companies from not offering plans to individuals with pre-existing health conditions. "If you repeal Obamacare, how will you protect those people with pre-existing conditions?"

"Over the half of the states have high-risk pools that deal with that issue," McConnell said, assuring Wallace that the state programs could cover the tens of millions of uninsured Americans who have pre-existing health conditions.

Thirty-five states now have high-risk pools, covering about 208,000 people. Those policies are open to individuals with pre-existing health issues but often come with high premiums, waiting periods and coverage exclusions for certain conditions.

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