I'd Vote for Health Bill: Frist

Obama's reforms are a step in the right direction, former Senate majority leader says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2009 6:14 PM CDT
Former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, from Tennessee, speaks at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Health care reform legislation has the unexpected support of a prominent physician: former Senate Republican leader Bill Frist. If he were still in politics, “I would end up voting for it," Frist said. The surgeon also blamed some Republicans for not engaging seriously in the health care debate: “Clearly, the death panels and public plan arguments have been overblown."

Frist said he specifically supports the mandate for individuals to purchase coverage and the ban on denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions. But he noted that the measure in its current multiple forms does not address the incentives that lead doctors to provide more procedures rather than more effective care. "There is really nothing to bend the cost curve," Frist told Time.