Frist: Don't repeal health care bill
January 18th, 2011
05:35 PM ET
11 years ago

Frist: Don't repeal health care bill

Washington (CNN) - A top Republican has come out against efforts by his party to repeal President Obama's health care reform bill currently underway in the House.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, said at a press conference Tuesday at the Bipartisan Policy Center - an organization he chairs with former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, among others - that the law should stand, according to The Huffington Post.

"It is not the bill that [Republicans] would have written," he said. "It is not the bill that I would have drafted. But it is the law of the land and it is the platform, the fundamental platform, upon which all future efforts to make that system better, for that patient, for that family, will be based."

He added: "[The bill] has many strong elements," Frist added later. "And those elements, whatever happens, need to be preserved, need to be cuddled, need to be snuggled, need to be promoted and need to be implemented. But how do you do it? How do you do a lot of what is in this law?"

In October, Frist told Time magazine's Karen Tumulty that he "would end up voting for it," he said. "As leader, I would take heat for it. ... That's what leadership is all about."

His comments come in stark contrast to what congressional Republicans are now pushing - a repeal of the law, which House Speaker John Boehner has deemed "a jobs killer." The push is nearly impossible given the Democratic majority in the Senate and a certain veto from the president.

Frist, a surgeon who retired from Congress in 2007, knows first hand about the health care system - though other doctors-turned-lawmakers in Congress such as Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma have been staunchly opposed to the law.

Filed under: Bill Frist • Health care
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Dave R.

    Finally, a voice of reason. At the same time, I find it very interesting that Republicans are against this until it benefits them. They do not want “government-run” social programs but when a relative goes on Medicaid that’s ok. How many Republicans will be at risk of losing their insurance or paying higher premiums due to a pre-existing condition? Just like “death panels”, Republicans are using lying again just so their insurance industry friends are helped. Why aren't Republicans demanding that have the same health care plan that Congress has? Why is it good enough for Congress but not the rest of us?

    January 18, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. David Scott

    Anyone against this bill is against helping Americans gain control of their health and lives. All these lying rip-publicans HAVE GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE , so they DO NOT CARE FOR THE REST OF AMERICA.

    January 18, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  3. NC

    repeal this bloated wasteful piece of was a bad idea than and it is a bad idea now....the American people know this and will not tolerate it, especially when they go to the voting booths in November 2012.

    January 18, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. Peter s

    Go ahead GOP repeal at your own political peril!!

    January 18, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. Michelle

    Finally a republican who is not a robot! How refreshing is that!?

    January 18, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  6. D-NICE

    The only time republicans tell the truth is when they are out of office.

    January 18, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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