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  • Bill Frist

    Does anyone know Dr. Frist's stand on ESC research? He has been portrayed as a very caring, giving, wealthy, Princeton, HMS, Mass Gen grad who is one of the top 10 conservative Republicans.
    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Presidents Puppet

    He is very strongly against stem cell research and has been influential on changing the views of others as well. [img]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

    "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
    It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz

    Every day I wake up is a good one

    Comment


    • #3
      Senator Frist has quite a complex but thoughtful approach towards stem cells. His views and their political implications have been summarized by the following articles:

      http://www.nationalreview.com/commen...th072001.shtml


      Because Senator Frist is a physician, he has been a formidable debater on the subject of embryonic stem cells. While he initially came out strongly in support of stem cell research, he strongly supported the decision made by President Bush (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/congr...ators_9-5.html ) , he has come out against both reproductive and therapeutic cloning (http://frist.senate.gov/press-item.cfm/hurl/id=183224 ) , and he has strongly supported the bill proposed by Brownback, et al. (http://frist.senate.gov/press-item.cfm/hurl/id=183787 )

      [This message was edited by Wise Young on Dec 23, 2002 at 04:26 AM.]

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it's very scary, as he is against stem cells, from what I heard him say at the Senate hearings, he doesn't truly grasp the concept, and lastly, there are a lot of people who look to his opinion just because he carries those initials "MD" after his name.

        _____________
        Tough times don't last - tough people do.
        _____________

        Comment


        • #5
          Frist Expected to Focus Senate on Health Issues

          Frist Expected to Focus Senate on Health Issues
          2 hours, 57 minutes ago Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!


          By Todd Zwillich

          WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) - Many Washington observers expect the ascension of Sen. Bill Frist, the Tennessee Republican and former heart surgeon, to replace Trent Lott as Senate Majority Leader to be the best chance in recent memory to pass key health legislation that for years has eluded Congress.



          Frist was elected to the post on Monday.


          When President Bush (news - web sites) needed a friend to lobby the US Senate in August 2001 for his controversial policy on human stem cell research, he turned to Frist. Later, when stunned lawmakers and staffers frantically searched for reassurance in the aftermath of last fall's anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill, they too turned to Frist.


          And when Bush moved to back a plan to reform the Medicare program and cover seniors' prescription drugs, it was Bill Frist's bill approach he endorsed.


          Indeed, as most lawmakers found, it became nearly impossible to act on Medicare, bioterrorism, HIV (news - web sites)/AIDS (news - web sites) or any other healthcare issue without asking a key question: What does Bill Frist think?


          Even liberal groups, while highly critical of Republican proposals, said they expect Frist's expertise on health issues, his experience as a physician and his close relationship with the president to finally pay dividends for their issues.


          "Frist obviously is an expert in this field. He has indicated all along that this was a top priority for him," said Ron Pollack, president of the consumer healthcare group Families USA.


          Pollack and others said they expect the most progress on two key issues: reforms to the Medicare insurance program for senior citizens and help for the 42 million Americans who lack health insurance.


          Frist, who frequently advised the president on a range of health issues, often stressed the level of agreement between himself and Bush. Both support allowing private insurance companies to administer more of the federal Medicare program, including any new prescription drug benefit.


          Both men support federal tax breaks as a way to help more people afford private insurance coverage. Frist has sponsored legislation with moderate Democrats on both issues, though few of his proposals have gained Senate approval.


          Still, many Democrats criticize the tax break plan because it is unlikely to provide families with enough money to buy private insurance policies.


          More broadly, both Frist and Bush support banning human cloning while allowing limited research on stem cells derived from human embryos. Both also strongly support a federal law limiting doctors' malpractice liability as a way to control health care costs.


          "Trying to get at some difference between Frist and the administration is hard to imagine," said Robert Helms, a resident scholar and health economist at the American Enterprise Institute.


          Frist became known in his first eight years as a senator for his ability to articulate complicated health issues in a way that lay persons--lawmakers and voters alike--can understand.


          He comes to the Majority Leader post at a time when Republicans in both Congress and the White House are looking to prioritize health issues. Many GOP lawmakers campaigned with promises to enact a Medicare drug benefit and to find help for uninsured voters.


          Meanwhile, the White House is looking for accomplishments on popular health care issues before the start of the 2004 presidential election cycle next year. It is here where Frist's reputation as a trusted physician and a supporter of Bush's "compassionate conservative" agenda could be most effective, observers said.


          "I think it's going to be hard for Sen. Daschle to paint him as not wanting to do the right thing for Medicare beneficiaries," said Mary Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council, a health industry group.




          "He can help put a little compassion in the conservatism, frankly," said Jeff Lemieux, a senior economist at the Progressive Policy Institute.

          But while most observers expect Frist to bring a sharper focus to health issues in the Senate, few believe he will be able to remain an effective champion on those issues while performing the Majority Leader's job of hammering out legislative details.

          "Will he be able to be the doctor on health care at the same time as he's counting votes? He's been a good spokesman for White House positions, now the question is how to do the legislative maneuvering to get them into law," said Diane Rowland, vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

          Still, most are confident that Frist's identification with medical issues combined with Republican control of all three federal government branches will result in major health care laws this year.

          "I think this is the year when we will see some things happen," said Grealy. "If we wait until next year, we'll be getting into full-bore presidential politics."



          http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...rist_health_dc
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          Comment


          • #6
            Senator Frist will indeed be a very powerful voice on the Hill. Even before he became Majority Leader in the Senate, on matters of health care and research, he had achieved a Pope-like stature. There are no Senators who can match him in knowledge or record. As amply demonstrated in the link below where there was a side-by-side interview with Arlen Spector (who is an avid stem cell research supporter), he has the ability to dominate the stem cell debate in a way that transcends the normal cliche driven political debate. On the other hand, Senator Frist is not a simple horn that conservatives can blow. He was not merely a physician but he apparently introduced pediatric cardiac transplants to the South when he was at Tulane University. I don't know what his attitude is towards spinal cord injury but here are:

            1. Some of his previous remarks on the subject of ADA
            http://codi.buffalo.edu/archives/pubs/articles/.sensub

            2. Senator Frist introduced legislation called "Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act" to support a more rational approach to encouraging voluntary reporting and government analysis of medical errors http://www.asia-spinalinjury.org/bulletin/lr.php

            3. Senator Frist can be appealed to as a doctor. For example, this is what Gerry Fischbach did in his March testimony to the US Senate Appropriations Committee on LHHSER http://www.christopherreeve.org/News...fm?ID=208&c=30

            4. His stem cell policy is thoughtful and rational approach to stem cells. While I do not agree with him on all issues, his position is clear. Senator Frist is strongly against the creation of human embryos solely for research and wants to strengthen and codify the ban on federal funding for the derivation of stem cells, as well as prohibit cloning to prevent creation and exploitation of embryos for research purposes. On the other hand, he wants to increase federal funding of adult stem cell research and allow federal funding of research using only those embryonic stem cells derived from blastocyts from in vitro fertilization clinics and that would otherwise be discarded. http://www.policyalmanac.org/health/...tem_cell.shtml I am willing to live with that, if this is what the American people wants.

            5. Senator Frist has long been an advocate of greater consumer input into NIH priorities. http://www.the-scientist.library.upe...p1_980330.html He has assembled a staff that is very knowledgeable on health care issues, has travelled and extensively spoken out on these areas, and regards health care as his primary issue http://www.aneuroa.org/aboutana/news1998-1.shtml

            6. Senator Frist is a supporter of trauma care systems. For example, in 1998, he sponsored the Trauma Systems Planning and Development Act. The bill (S.1754) provides funds to help states plan, develop, and implement trauma care systems. http://www.aast.org/Prevent_1999.html

            7. Senator Frist is a co-sponsor of the bioterrorism bill alongside Senator Kennedy http://www.fnlm.org/updates/fnlmupdate_june2002.html
            The legislation authorizes $1.6 billion for state grants, with $520 million set aside for hospital preparedness. It also creates a new program of partnerships between hospitals and local governments and establishes grants to health professions schools to relieve shortages of health professionals. The $4.6 billion bill also devotes funds to the vaccine stockpile, improves food and water safety, and increases oversight of the handling of biological agents and toxins. Go to www.aamc.org/advocacy/library/washhigh/2002/052402/_1.htm
            8. His support of the Brownback-Landrieu bill was disappointing but his reasons for doing so were reasonable
            "At this point in the evolution of this new science, I believe there is no justification for the purposeful creation and destruction of human embryos in order to experiment with them, especially when the promise and success of stem cell research does not depend on the experimental research cloning technique," Frist said, noting, "Regardless of our religious background, most of us are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of creating cloned human embryos, doing an experiment on them, and destroying the human embryo."
            Although he supported the Brownback-Landrieu bill, he has voiced concern over some provisions of the bill, including the bill's prohibition of any products derived from a cloned embryo from overseas. On that issue, he said "If there is a cure for a patient that has multiple sclerosis, and it's available to the world, as a physician my ethical obligation is to do what's best for the patient," http://www.cancercoalition.org/bushcloningspeech.html I believe that Senator Frist is seeking to find a solution to the problem, and has the heart and the political skill to do so.

            So, we should wait to see what develops.

            Wise.

            [This message was edited by Wise Young on Dec 24, 2002 at 08:03 AM.]

            Comment


            • #7
              still don't understand

              "On the other hand, he wants to increase federal funding of adult stem cell research and allow federal funding of research using only those embryonic stem cells derived from blastocyts from in vitro fertilization clinics and that would otherwise be discarded."

              I don't understand. If I am reading this correctly, does this mean he is in favour of increasing the so-called 78 lines that are eligible for NIH funding?

              Kudos on increasing ASC funding!
              "Oh yeah life goes on
              Long after the thrill of livin is gone"

              John Cougar Mellencamp

              Comment


              • #8
                bump

                Dr. Young what is your take on Frist's position on increasing the so called 78 cell lines currently eligible for NIH funding?
                "Oh yeah life goes on
                Long after the thrill of livin is gone"

                John Cougar Mellencamp

                Comment


                • #9
                  MKowalski, I am uncertain of Frist's position on this issue. I know that before President Bush decided to allow NIH funding of research on stem cell lines derived before August 2001, Senator Frist was an advocate of the NIH proposal of producing new lines under strict federal guidelines. However, he probably played a role in convincing President Bush to approve some funding and therefore strongly praised the decision when President Bush announced it. I suspect that Frist cannot go back and quibble that the 74 lines are not enough.

                  I was very disappointed when Senator Frist supported the Brownback bill which attempted to criminalize somatic nuclear transfer. I think that he knows that the bill is bad and unenforcible. I don't know why he did not support the Feinstein bill which is modelled after the British bill which banned the implantation of non-fertilized eggs into a woman's uterus. This effectively prevented reproductive cloning.

                  Senator First has expressed some reservations about aspects of the Brownback bill, particularly the outlawing of embryonic stem cell product that is developed in other countries. I suspect that if strong evidence supports the beneficial effects of embryonic stem cells, he will support further research on the subject. Likewise, I believe that he will strongly support putting more funding into adult stem cell research.


                  Wise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Frist May Put Spotlight on U.S. Health-Care Debates

                    Frist May Put Spotlight on U.S. Health-Care Debates
                    2 hours, 25 minutes ago Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!


                    By Joanne Kenen

                    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even before the Senate's sole physician became its top leader, rising health care costs and soaring numbers of uninsured Americans were certain to put health care high on the national policy agenda this year.



                    Now, with Tennessee Republican Dr. Bill Frist, a heart-lung transplant surgeon, becoming Senate majority leader, expectations are high that health care will be a priority.


                    "His background, understanding and expertise will help elevate health care on a national scale," predicted Dan Leonard, an official with the Association of American Health Plans, which represents the managed care industry.


                    Though acclaimed as both a surgeon and political tactician, Frist is unproven as a Senate leader and no one can be sure of his style or success in a post that requires a lot of cajoling, cheerleading and horse trading. But since his student days, Frist has had a broad interest trying to ensure that people have access to affordable care.


                    "Health care has always been a priority of Sen. Frist since joining the Senate and certainly will continue to be so in his role as majority leader," a Frist spokesman said. "He will be working with his colleagues on Medicare modernization, prescription drug coverage, addressing the increasing numbers of uninsured Americans, making health care more affordable and addressing the global AIDS (news - web sites) crisis."


                    In his eight years in the Senate, Frist has worked on an array of medical and scientific issues--AIDS, organ transplant policy, bioterrorism defense, cloning and stem cells, Medicare reform, tobacco, generic drugs, medical errors, HMO regulation among them. Many, probably most, will come up again this year.


                    Sometimes he has reached across the aisle in pursuit of bipartisan compromise, as in the bioterrorism bill he wrote with Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. But often Frist has aligned himself with conservative Republican philosophies, particularly on health-care financing issues.


                    For instance, he has backed the Medicare prescription drug proposals, favored by most Republicans, that would have private insurers play a large role in providing any new benefits. Democrats say that approach is too uncertain for the elderly Medicare patients, and tend to favor grafting the new benefits onto the existing government-run program.


                    WHERE THERE'S SMOKE


                    On tobacco for instance, he introduced a bill that was criticized by many leading public health groups. Anti-smoking activists hope the former cardiac surgeon will seize this opportunity to promote stronger legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) power to regulate tobacco.


                    "Bill Frist has an opportunity to do more for public health by promoting a bill giving FDA jurisdiction supported by the public health community than almost any other action he could take as majority leader," said Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.


                    Health care costs, after a period of relative stability, have begun to rise far faster than overall inflation and the number of uninsured Americas has risen to 41 million.


                    Many health advocates and lobbyists believe Frist will use the leader's prerogative to control the Senate schedule to finally break through some of the stalemates, including Medicare reform and ways of helping the uninsured.


                    But those stalemates reflect deep philosophical divides about the role of the public and private sectors in health care and how to spend tax dollars. Frist will have to use his experience and credibility to help bridge the divides.


                    "He knows these issues first hand, both from the practicing medicine side and the national policy side," said Dr. Yank Coble, president of the American Medical Association. Coble said he hopes Frist quickly addresses malpractice reform and payments to doctors in Medicare.


                    "It's awfully hard to ignore the practical experience he's had," Coble said. "He's probably better able to understand and translate what a serious and acute problem we've got, how close we are to a meltdown."
                    http://stores.ebay.com/MAKSYM-Variety-Store

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bill Frist, in His Own Words

                      cheesecake
                      Moderator posted Jan 04, 2003 12:52 PM
                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      The following interview with Bill Frist, first published in September, has been reprinted in this week's National Journal. Note his comments on stem cell and cloning research:

                      NJ: How do you reconcile issues in which the medical and political sides are at war? For example, you oppose cloning, yet 40 Nobel Prize winners favor "therapeutic cloning" as a way to make progress in fighting diseases such as Parkinson's. The GOP base wants no part of that.

                      Frist: I thrive in the tension that comes out of this merging of science, in its purest sense, which is what the Nobel laureates speak to: the ethics of integrating new technology into life-and-death issues, which I have a lot of experience with, because of brain death and transplantation and allocation of a scarce resource [that will determine] who lives, who dies, who gets what organs.

                      NJ: If you were not in the Senate right now, do you think you might come down differently on "therapeutic cloning"?

                      Frist: If I weren't in the Senate, I'd still be involved in medical ethical decision-making. If I were a pure scientist, I would come out very differently, because as a pure scientist, I would argue that science should ultimately rule, and the good of science will trump philosophical or spiritual [arguments]. Now, being responsible to 6 million Tennesseans and a few hundred million Americans and globally, it is very important to weigh that, and weigh it heavily, but to have people understand that that needs to be integrated into what our society and civil sensibilities are all about.

                      The full interview follows.


                      01-04-2003

                      CONGRESS: Bill Frist, in His Own Words

                      Before Senate Republicans elected him as majority leader on December 23, Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was hardly a household name. Now, as Frist prepares to assume his new post, there are still plenty of unanswered questions about his legislative agenda and his leadership style, and about how his relationship with President Bush may affect his dealings in the Senate.

                      In an extensive interview with National Journal for the cover story in our September 21 issue, Frist, the Senate's only doctor, spoke of his leap from medicine to politics, his approach to key issues, his role as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and his pressing priorities as a legislator, given his pledge to limit himself to two Senate terms. Ultimately, Frist's leadership at the NRSC helped the GOP recapture Senate control in the November elections. It also made him his colleagues' favorite to become their leader after Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., stepped down amid an uproar over his praise for Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential campaign. Frist hasn't talked much publicly since he was tapped to take over for Lott, so National Journal decided to run the following edited excerpts from his interview with us last summer because they provide insights into his approach to the Senate.

                      NJ: You didn't even vote until your mid-30s. You hadn't shown a whole lot of interest in politics, had you?
                      Frist: This juxtaposition of careers is best symbolized by the fact that I vote 1,000 times a year now on issues that affect millions of people's lives, when before I didn't exercise the basic privilege. I recognize that that was not just wrong but inadequate. I wasn't fulfilling my responsibility. But if you go back before that, I worked [as a summer intern] here in Washington, D.C., and at the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton, so that my understanding the importance of public policy began early on. But then medicine is so all-consuming that I didn't pay attention to politics. I didn't pay attention to Lincoln Day dinners and party politics. I lived 18 to 20 hours a day for about 10 years to become the best heart transplant surgeon I could. NJ: In your first Senate bid in 1994, you challenged then-Sen. James R. Sasser, D-Tenn., as a "Washington insider." Aren't you now a "Washington insider"? Frist: I clearly know Washington a lot better. I spend a lot more time here. But I spend a lot of time in the state and am very much in touch with the state. I do think that the longer you spend in Washington, the more dependent you become on Washington values, Washington priorities. That commonality establishes a distancing over time from one's natural roots. You can clearly overcome that, and I do my best to overcome it. It is why I feel that one should not stay in the United States Senate for a lifetime. I have not taken a pledge for term limits and signed it like a lot of people do in their campaigns; but in my mind, in the United States Senate, a period of 12 years is long enough to make a big difference and address the big issues. It could be for some people six or eight years or 10, or it could be 18, but I don't think people should come to implant themselves here.

                      NJ: As a heart-lung transplant surgeon, you were your own boss in the operating room. But you left that world to come to a place where it often takes 60 votes to get anything done. Why make that switch, and isn't it frustrating? Frist: Eight years ago when I embarked on this, I had no idea exactly whether or not I would be adequate at this job or successful. But I knew the motivation of making others' lives more fulfilling was the same, at least on paper. In medicine, it is very much one-to-one. In the United States Senate, you have the opportunity to help others-not so much one-on-one, but to help groups of people, whether it's Tennesseans or people across America or indeed globally. As a transplant surgeon in a field that was evolving, I was very accustomed to two things: No. 1, creating and gathering information, assimilating it rapidly, and making decisions that impact people directly, even if you don't have all the data, all the information. Decisions are made and then you are held accountable for those decisions. The parallel there is very real-I now know, eight years later-and I apply it daily. The second is that the transplant center had several hundred people; that equipped me well in terms of thinking of the importance of the team approach, collaboration, working together-understanding that everybody has a very important role, and everybody has to do it and do it without mistake, possibly without even understanding that greater mission, but believing in a leader to accomplish that goal. The frustration here of needing 60 votes also requires collaboration, reaching out, negotiation-which, again, is similar to being dependent on a large number of people to be successful in my field of medicine.

                      NJ: You have a reputation of being a nice guy. Some might question whether you are tough enough for high-profile political jobs. What would you say? Frist: I would say, probably, come to the operating room, see what it takes to do a heart transplant on a six-day-old premature baby, and you'll see whether one has the right stuff to run the National Republican Senatorial Committee or be a United States Senator. The good thing about the [NRSC] for me is that I have a vision. I have an agenda for that committee. I have a strategy. It's up to me to make it work for my colleagues, but part of my goal is to get my colleagues to buy in. It's measurable. I'll be held accountable. That's all very appealing to me. It's very much the surgical personality. The surgical personality is someone who trains very hard, who makes decisions on the very best information available, but at the end of the day, is held accountable for what they do. My style is very different from heart surgeons in the operating room who throw instruments and get upset and throw people out if things aren't going right. I've never thrown anyone out of an operating room. I've never thrown instruments.

                      NJ: When you first arrived in the Senate in 1995, you seemed more willing to part company with the GOP line. For instance, you backed Henry Foster to be surgeon general and supported the 1997 chemical weapons treaty and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Yet more recently, you seem less willing to buck the party line. Is that right? Frist: I haven't thought about it. If you look at my conservative/liberal record, it hasn't shifted at all. If you look at my voting record, you know right where I am. If you look at the 25 more-conservative Republicans in the Senate, you will find me right in the middle of that group. Obviously, working with the president and the administration for the last two years, I am very supportive.

                      NJ: You have been criticized for becoming too much the insider. You initially supported a $500 million proposal to fight AIDS, but some activists say that after President Bush leaned on you, you backed down from seeking the assistance for fiscal 2002. Frist: My priorities in the United States Senate, over a career, are the big issues. I do day-to-day Senate activities, but at the end of the day, I very much want to be able to look back and say that I have helped move big issues, such as entitlements with Medicare. Another huge issue that I have worked on for nearly five years-and I do it in a personal way by traveling to Africa and by writing legislation and by operating on AIDS patients directly-is reversing the course of HIV/AIDS, which is going to double, in terms of the number of people who die, over the next 20 years. That is not easy to do. It is a little bit like trying to figure out how to do a lung transplant. It can only be addressed by persistence, by having a long-term strategy, by recognizing it's not either a single amendment or a single bill or a single entity-meaning the federal government-that is going to solve it. People who focus on either one amendment or one negotiation-that's what an activist must do, because an activist must continue to push. But I don't think you'll find anybody else in the United States Senate who has personally spent as much time on HIV/AIDS in terms of my travels to Africa, where I have operated on patients, and here, from a legislative standpoint. To lick HIV/AIDS is the largest public health challenge we have seen in the last hundred years. I think it is going to be more challenging than smallpox, which killed about 400 million people.

                      NJ: But what happened on that $500 million proposal to fight AIDS?
                      Frist: If we had blindly tried to pass a $500 million bill in committee, it would have been stripped out. That's not going to save any lives. At the end of the day, we will save a million lives. Although there has been a lot of posturing and passing amendments, if I had gone that route, we would have had nothing. In going the route that I have gone, we have secured $500 million [over three years to combat] mother-to-child transmission.

                      NJ: You have called the bioterrorism-preparedness legislation that President Bush signed into law in June 2002 a landmark achievement. Is this your top achievement?
                      Frist: Oh, no. I think our vulnerabilities are still out there. This is a good first step, but I think it will take four, five, or six years to be fully prepared in terms of bioterrorism. I don't know what the biggest achievement is in terms of a piece of legislation. In terms of the education bill, I put a lot of emphasis on it because it's a bill that, again, is not the answer to K-through-12 education, but it represents a huge effort. Work on the Medicare Commission did not result in legislation, but it's going to probably be where I had the greatest impact, long term. It's a little bit like HIV/AIDS. I know where we are going to end up six years later, or I think I do, and I work toward that, instead of just working for passage of an amendment or a bill.

                      NJ: How do you reconcile issues in which the medical and political sides are at war? For example, you oppose cloning, yet 40 Nobel Prize winners favor "therapeutic cloning" as a way to make progress in fighting diseases such as Parkinson's. The GOP base wants no part of that.
                      Frist: I thrive in the tension that comes out of this merging of science, in its purest sense, which is what the Nobel laureates speak to: the ethics of integrating new technology into life-and-death issues, which I have a lot of experience with, because of brain death and transplantation and allocation of a scarce resource [that will determine] who lives, who dies, who gets what organs.

                      NJ: If you were not in the Senate right now, do you think you might come down differently on "therapeutic cloning"?
                      Frist: If I weren't in the Senate, I'd still be involved in medical ethical decision-making. If I were a pure scientist, I would come out very differently, because as a pure scientist, I would argue that science should ultimately rule, and the good of science will trump philosophical or spiritual [arguments]. Now, being responsible to 6 million Tennesseans and a few hundred million Americans and globally, it is very important to weigh that, and weigh it heavily, but to have people understand that that needs to be integrated into what our society and civil sensibilities are all about.

                      NJ: Which party has the advantage on the prescription drug issue?
                      Frist: From a Republican standpoint, America knows that Republicans in the United States Senate want affordable access to prescription drugs and have voted for a bill that is much more comprehensive than the bill that the Democrats, for example, voted for. Prescription drugs-traditionally people are more comfortable with Democrats dealing with this. From a statistical standpoint, [they favor Democrats] by probably 14-15 percentage points. And that is a little bit like education was three or four years ago. Now you are seeing happening with prescription drugs exactly what happened with education. I think it is going to be pretty much at parity. Once people realize that Republicans supported a bipartisan bill that is comprehensive, that is real, that is adequately funded at least in its initial stages, we'll be on parity in terms of whether people are more comfortable with Republicans. From my standpoint, we have taken prescription drugs off the table.

                      NJ: You have had very substantial investments in HCA hospitals. Doesn't your involvement in legislative debates that could affect HCA's bottom line raise legitimate conflict-of-interest questions?
                      Frist: If I were in a campaign, running for something right now, I would assume it would come up, but it doesn't ever come up on the floor of the United States Senate. I think my colleagues have enough trust in what I do, that when it comes to integrity or transparency or being open or laying my cards on the table, that's just the way I am.

                      NJ: It's not a factor in anything you do?
                      Frist: No. I guess somebody could make [an accusation]. At the end of the day, what can you do? First, you start doing blind trusts. Even that doesn't matter [to critics]. Right now, I don't know if I own HCA [stock] because it's a qualified blind trust. But [critics] will come back and say, "Oh yeah, but your family does." So I think really the only counter to it is that I have never been employed, never been on the board, never worked at HCA. I've been an investor [and am] proud of that. My brother started the company. It's one of the great American success stories. Three hundred hospitals out there, doing a great job. They have made some mistakes in the past under leadership that I had nothing to do with. They should be held accountable.

                      NJ: How many marathons have you run? People tell me that you don't need sleep, and that you send e-mails at all times of day and night.
                      Frist: I've run six marathons in the last three years. Heart transplantation was done through the middle of the night-one to as many as three a week-with no sleep night after night. When I wrote that book on bioterrorism, I was up until three o'clock every morning and drove my wife crazy. It took me two months to do. That's easy for me, because that is what I did for 12 years as a surgeon. When I say that, it sounds crazy, but you talk to any cardiac transplant surgeon in the country, and that is just part of their life.

                      NJ: Rumors persist about your landing various jobs in the Bush administration. Any reaction?
                      Frist: My wishes are to spend the next five years in the United States Senate to modernize Medicare, and address in a big way the global issue of HIV/AIDS, and deliver to Tennesseans a better quality of life. That's hard work, all three of those.

                      NJ: What about replacing Dick Cheney as vice president on the 2004 Republican ticket?
                      Frist: I am not playing coy. My goal really is to do a good job here in the Senate, and if the president asked, I would consider whatever [he wanted me to do].

                      NJ: Do you see yourself making a presidential run in 2008?
                      Frist: It's not a goal of mine.

                      Kirk Victor

                      National Journal

                      "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
                      It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz

                      Every day I wake up is a good one

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dr. Young are'nt most if not the majority of doctors and politicians payed off by the nursing home lobbyists and thats one of the big reasons bills trying to keep people out of nursing homes have a hard time passing. I truly don't think Bill Frist will make that much help for the most needy. I agree totally with cheesecake that he's just a major puppet for the other puppet which is Bush.

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                        • #13
                          quote ''Frist: If I weren't in the Senate, I'd still be involved in medical ethical decision-making. If I were a pure scientist, I would come out very differently, because as a pure scientist, I would argue that science should ultimately rule, and the good of science will trump philosophical or spiritual [arguments]. Now, being responsible to 6 million Tennesseans and a few hundred million Americans and globally, it is very important to weigh that, and weigh it heavily, but to have people understand that that needs to be integrated into what our society and civil sensibilities are all about.''unquote

                          it is statements like this ; quote'' Now, being responsible to 6 million Tennesseans and a few hundred million Americans and globally,'' unquote , like this that get Americans a bad name overseas for arrogance ! surely he doesn't think he excerises control over legislation globally ?

                          thank you
                          dogger

                          every day i wake up is a good one .
                          Every day I wake up is a good one .

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