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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 25th, 2013
04:52 PM ET

Where is the GOP alternative to Obamacare?

Many Republicans are staunchly against the president's health care law. But there is no alternative being offered, no Republican bill that will solve the problems of rising health care costs, millions of uninsured Americans, and making sure insurance companies do not discriminate against people with preexisting conditions.

Republicans used to be about repeal and replace, but now, it just seems to be repeal. Several Republicans have put forward proposals for health care laws. But the party, which has the majority of the House of Representatives and a large minority in the Senate, are not uniting behind one of the bills and trying push it through.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee agrees, but said pursuing the defunding Obamacare is still a worthy cause.

"We need to offer something else. Several of us have. The fact that we don't yet have consensus on it, does not mean that there isn't good reason to protect Americans who are fearful – justifiably and understandably – for what's going to happen to them under Obamacare," Lee said in an interview with "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said Wednesday that the American people heard a lot about Obamacare in the 2012 election, and they ultimately reelected President Obama.

"With the passage of time, this has become a less popular law, and Americans are asking for relief from this law, especially considering that this law is one that the president himself has described as not ready to implement. The president is not going to follow the law as written. We shouldn't fund it," said Lee.

Many Americans work hard and have health insurance. Lawmakers that oppose the individual mandate, or any sort of requirement that people have health insurance, essentially take the position that those who are responsible will pay for those who are irresponsible, pay for those who can afford insurance, but don't purchase it.

"I assure you that's not my position. I don't know any Republicans who feel that way," said Lee.

"There are lots of proposals out there that we can consider that don't involve Obamacare, that don't involve these massive exchanges that people can't even predict as to their cost, that don't involve this individual mandate that is a massive intrusion into individual privacy and liberty," said Lee.

TO be clear, Lee said he opposes the federal government instituting an individual mandate, but, "If a state government wanted to do that, I'm aware of no constitutional impediment from the federal constitution that would prohibit them from doing that."

So would the junior senator support such a requirement in his home state of Utah?

"I don't know that the people of Utah would support such a policy, but I'm not going to speculate on what I might do if I in fact were a state lawmaker, because I'm not and never have been," said Lee.

CNN's Edward Meagher contributed to this report.

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