McConnell says government shutdown won't stop Obamacare

A government shutdown would not prevent the Affordable Care Act from being funded, Kentucky

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to healthcare workers Tuesday in southern Kentucky.

CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - A government shutdown would not prevent the Affordable Care Act from being funded, Kentucky's senior senator said Tuesday.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to publicly take a side as some members of his party lobby for shutting down the federal government.

"The problem is the bill that would shut down the government wouldn't shut down Obamacare," McConnell said. "Most of it is permanent law and not affected by that. It also wouldn't stop the taxes. Taxes that are going in on medical devices, taxes that are going in on health insurance premiums."

McConnell, who is also the GOP leader in the Senate, spoke to a group of healthcare workers Tuesday at Baptist Health Corbin, a hospital in southern Kentucky.

During the meeting, McConnell told audience members, "I'm for stopping Obamacare, but shutting down the government will not stop Obamacare."

But McConnell admitted there are parts of the ACA he supports.

"There are a handful of things in the 2,700-page bill that probably are okay," McConnell said. "But that doesn't warrant a 2,700-page takeover of all American healthcare."

McConnell called the healthcare reform legislation - signed into law in 2010 - the "single worst piece of legislation passed in the last 50 years in the country."

During a news conference Friday, President Obama addressed a possible government shutdown.

"The idea that you would shut down the government unless you prevent 30 million people from getting healthcare is a bad idea," the president said. "The one unifying principal in the Republican Party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don't have healthcare."

McConnell declined to answer questions Tuesday about his 2014 re-election campaign.

He is facing a primary challenge from Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, a Tea Party favorite.

The 2014 GOP nominee will likely face Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, in the general election.

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