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Ear to the Ground

Frist Supports Health Bill

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Posted on Oct 2, 2009
Frist
Wikimedia Commons/senate.gov

Good to know there are some seemingly dyed-in-the-wool GOP types who are at least partly open to some of the health care reform proposals knocking around the halls of Congress. Count among that tiny minority the former Senate Republican chief Bill Frist, who says he’d vote for the measure despite its shortcomings.  —KA

“Swampland” in Time.com:

Were he still in the Senate, “I would end up voting for it,” he said. “As leader, I would take heat for it. ... That’s what leadership is all about.”

This is not to say that Frist is entirely happy with everything that is in the bill.

For one thing, he doesn’t think it does nearly enough to bring costs under control. In his view, it does not fundamentally change the incentives that providers now have to provide more care, rather than better care. “There is really nothing to bend the cost curve,” he says.

And Frist also predicts it will extend coverage to only 20 million or so additional Americans—far short of true universal coverage.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

RD:

Yes, he does, though he was, for a long time, less involved than some other family members.

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By ardee, October 4, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, October 4 at 9:02 am

Thanks for the clarification. Frist has a certain monetary interest in the form of health care reform obviously, whether in charge of a portion of the family enterprise or not.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 4, 2009 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

Ardee:

Actually, what the Frists own is HCA, formerly Columbia HCA—the largest hospital corp in America.  Sen. Frist’s brother, Tommy Jr. was the long-time COB, and he’s an unprincipled SOB.  He’s not even on the board, but Tommy III is.

Bill Frist’s history on health care (other than that stupid video incident) was always much more reasoned than most Republicans.  Actually, though, lots of hospitals WANT a health care package—they stand to make more even with single payer and they would LOVE to have the Government pick up the costs of uninsured ER patients, which is where the 50 million uninsured Americans get their health care.

Frist was a terrible Majority Leader—we haven’t seen a decent one from either party since Daschle lost his seat and we haven’t seen an actual GOOD Majority Leader since Bob Dole quit to run against Clinton in 1996. (Obviously, I see the ML as a technical job of both rallying the troops and working successfully with the opposition party).  But before that, for a GOP sen, he was OK, not a total tool like Oren Hatch, or a moronic fascist like Kyl and Imhofe.

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By MarthaA, October 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

Conservative Frist is just trying to get on the Bandwagon to try and make his Republican Party look better, since he has gathered that there will be a Health Care Bill passed that hopefully will have a robust public option.

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By GB, October 3, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only thing any republican or health insurance paid off dem is going to like about health care reform is that the insurance companies that make them rich will benefit massively. There is no reform in Congress right now. Any reform has been stripped away. The only true reform would be single payer and that was off the table before the discussion even started. Just like impeachment was off the table for the crimes against humanity by bush and cheney. Congress continues to bite the hands that feed them.

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By ardee, October 3, 2009 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

Mr. Frist, whose family owns one of the largest HMO’s, Humana, will be forever known as the doctor who diagnosed by video tape, and got it wrong. He seems, however to have gotten this one right, yet one must wonder how effective a reform if those who own the businesses support said reform.

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