House Republicans are moving forward with their plan to vote on repealing health care reform but a Republican former Senate Majority Leader says they should give up on the idea.
"It is not the bill that [Republicans] would have written," Former Sen. Bill Frist said at a press conference Tuesday. "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."
"And that is a fact," he continued. "I know the discussion of Washington is repeal and I'm sure we will come back to that discussion."
"[The bill] has many strong elements," Frist added. "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?"
The Tennessee Republican joined with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) press conference. The group advocated building on the current law instead of repealing it.
"We realize that the bulk of the work has to be done at the state level," Daschle told Politico. "We want to work in a constructive way to ensure all the tremendous challenges, including the creation of the exchanges and the availability of the new insurance possibilities for millions of Americans, can be addressed in a way that will assist the states and will advance our efforts at providing good health care for all Americans."
A recent Associated Press poll found that public support for repealing the health care law had fallen dramatically in a very short period of time. In all, 49 percent oppose the law, down from 61 percent following the 2010 midterm elections.