Bill Frist may be from the south and he may be a Republican, but he's not crazy. With nothing to lose, I've been wondering why he hasn't taken a stand against the Republican nonsense.
"I would end up voting for it. As leader, I would take heat for it. That's what leadership is all about."
But not only does he openly discuss his support for real reform, he also supports a mandate. Surprise!
Frist does point out one very, very rational point that many of us have overlooked. What happens next?
While Frist believes that the bill will pass, he worries that the Obama Administration and Congress have not given enough attention to what happens next: the implementation. The first few years are likely to be rough, he predicts. States will be struggling to set up new marketplaces for insurance coverage, their medicaid rolls will grow, taxes will go up, and consumers will not yet see the benefits. "The Republicans will go wild," using the start-up difficulties as a tool for fundraising and for making their case in the next election, Frist says. "In the Congress, nobody's thinking about that." His advice for the Obama Administration: "Stay nimble," and be prepared to make adjustments as difficulties arise.Let the ridicule and labeling begin! Far-right Republicans will shred Frist for his comments and label him a RINO - claim he's not a real conservative. All of this makes me wonder where healthcare would be today if Mr. Frist had used the nuclear option back in 2005.
Read the full interview with Karen Tumulty Time's Swampland blog.