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  Frist supports Snowe’s health care ‘trigger’ plan
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ContributorBrandon 
Last EditedBrandon  Oct 06, 2009 01:00pm
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CategoryInterview
News DateTuesday, October 6, 2009 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
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Dr. Frist, who is a heart and lung transplant surgeon, says he strongly supports the bipartisan efforts of the Senate Finance Committee and Olympia Snowe’s “trigger” plan. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

John Roberts: You said, not too long ago, if you were still in the Senate you would probably vote for a health care overhaul.

Bill Frist: A transformation of the health care system today.

Roberts: What exactly is it that you would feel comfortable voting for? Any of the plans that are out there now?

Frist: Two things. And again, these next two or three weeks are critical. We have to bring people together to get it done. It’s a great moment in time if it can be done. Number one, we’ve got to get the uninsured into the market itself. There’s too much cherry picking going on. There’s too much adverse selection.

Roberts: How many? All of them? Half of them?

Frist: The 46 million out there. There are 20 million, who are hardcore uninsured, who just can’t get it because they can’t afford it. So I would start there, but eventually we need to get them all into the insurance market. We just don’t have enough money to do it right now, but 20 million hardcore. Number two, it’s the cost in health care. And basically, health care costs went up three times faster than inflation. Your typical person out there simply can’t afford it any longer. $15,000 policies being the average for a family of four is too much, but it’s going up too fast.

So the health care reform we need is something that brings in as many as we can – I’d say 20 million now; that addresses issues – the spending – by putting benefits out there with competition on the marketplace, eliminating the about 30% waste in health care, and that can be done through information technology and transparency and accountability. And if we can do that, we can both afford it today and bring people into the market itself.
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