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Ernst Talks Health Care, McConnell on Eve of Election

Image: Joni Ernst
Republican Senate candidate State Sen. Joni Ernst speaks to supporters during a campaign stop, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Ankeny, Iowa. Ernst is running against Democrat U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley for the U.S. Senate seat of Tom Harkin, who is not seeking reelection.Charlie Neibergall / AP

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Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst says that Iowa can be "the healthiest state in the country" with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

"We just need to have patient centered healthcare, something that addresses pre-existing conditions," she said in an exclusive interview with NBC News. "I think it's a great goal and I think we need to continue striving towards it."

Ernst, who supports a full repeal of the Obama-backed health law, said that Republicans will "find a solution" for Iowans who are currently covered through the ACA exchange and that repeal is necessary to drive down health care costs for those who are "now paying four and five and six hundred dollars more every month."

Ernst also declined to say whether she will support Sen. Mitch McConnell as the leader of Senate Republicans, saying "I'm not there yet, I have to win an election."

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