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Murkowski: Defunding won't end health care law

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm •  Published: September 25, 2013

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Wednesday that she's been "deluged" with comments from constituents in recent days, overwhelmingly urging her to support House-led efforts to defund President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

But the Republican told reporters Congress wouldn't be getting rid of the law by defunding it for the upcoming fiscal year — as the House has proposed — and she said a government shutdown isn't the way to go, either. Her comments came hours after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ended a marathon talking session in which he railed against the health care law.

Murkowski called it an "interesting display of one person's passion," but said if people watched his speech and thought he was getting rid of the health care law, they were mistaken.

What is playing out in Washington, she said, "is an effort to clearly raise the profile in terms of why the Affordable Care Act is not working, why we really haven't worked to reform health care. But does it solve the problem that we're dealing with? No, it really doesn't."

Murkowski said there are problems with the law that need to be addressed and she wants to find solutions. She supports efforts such as delaying the individual mandate to buy insurance but said she isn't sure if the Senate will be given a chance to vote on that.

The House last week passed legislation that would continue funding the federal government through mid-December. But is also includes a provision to defund the health care law. That provision is expected to be stripped in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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