Politics

  • Confirming Brett Kavanaugh Twelve Years Ago And His Prospects Today (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Brett Kavanaugh will make a terrific Supreme Court Justice, and I know from firsthand experience. Earlier this week, the New York Times ran a photo of me with Kavanaugh taken over 12 years ago when then-Majority Whip Mitch McConnell and I spearheaded his Senate confirmation. Seeing that photo brought me back to my time as…

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  • The Senate I led put country over party. This one must do the same for Robert Mueller. (Washington Post)

    by Bill Frist

    WASHINGTON POST | When I retired from the U.S. Senate in 2007 as its majority leader, my parting words were a prayer for my colleagues to rise above the passions of the moment and protect the institution as a bulwark for our country’s enduring values. The Senate I served in was not devoid of partisanship,…

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  • Medicine As Currency For Peace: How Global Health Funding Could Change The World (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    Forbes | I first met the virus as a young surgical resident in training. I read the initial 1981 report of five people in California who died of a mysterious, unnamed disease. The virus outsmarted and outran us. The first year, we watched helplessly as a few hundred people died. The next year, a few thousand,…

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  • For Patients With Multiple Chronic Conditions, Improving Care Will Be A Bipartisan Effort (Health Affairs Blog)

    by Bill Frist

    HEALTH AFFAIRS BLOG | While federal policy makers are undertaking controversial and divisive debates over the future of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans and Democrats have had a good track record of working together to improve health care delivery and payment frameworks. Most recently, the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 reformed Medicare’s physician…

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  • The time to act is now: Bipartisan action will accelerate cures for Americans (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | With the election over, speculation is rampant on what this means for politics and policy in 2017.  We need to take a step back however, and realize there is critical work to be completed by Congress in 2016, to set the stage for a new generation of medical innovation, and demonstrate to the…

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  • TrumpCare: In The Beginning… (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | The immediate question for those whose lives focus around lifting the health of individual Americans is, “What does Donald J. Trump’s presidency mean for health care in America?” At the heart of the answer is uncertainty. Trump is an “unknown unknown” when it comes to deep, thoughtful health policy. He has excelled in many…

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  • It’s time for the U.S. to lead on combating global malnutrition (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | One single public health crisis accounts for nearly half (45%) of all child deaths under age five. Every 4 seconds, a person dies from this cause – approximately 21,000 every day. And shockingly, nearly one in nine people globally is affected.  What is this epidemic that has taken so many lives? That has…

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  • My Turn: Around the world, Ayotte is a force for good (Concord Monitor)

    by Bill Frist

    CONCORD MONITOR | Since entering the U.S. Senate in 2011, Sen. Kelly Ayotte has emerged as a leading voice on U.S. national security and foreign policy. Through her service on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Ayotte has established herself as a strong defense hawk, consistently leading efforts to protect national security spending and to call…

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  • How Bundled Payments Can Change Healthcare (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | Rising health care costs are a top concern for Americans today, with 64% of voters in a January 2016 Kaiser Health tracking poll, citing a candidate’s position on the cost of health care, health insurance, and prescription drugs as “the single most important factor” or “a very important factor” in their vote…

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  • The Senate Must Streamline the Drug Regulatory Process (Wall Street Journal)

    by Bill Frist

    WALL STREET JOURNAL | Before the Senate is a powerful medical-innovation package of 19 bills—a companion to the House-approved 21st Century Cures Act—that will streamline the nation’s regulatory process for the discovery, development and delivery of safe and effective drugs and devices, bringing the process into the new century. This legislation, crafted by the Senate’s…

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  • Global Health: The Most Effective Policy

    by Bill Frist

    As the 2016 primaries unfold, it’s time for candidates of both parties to focus on expanding the big-hearted policies that have made this nation so exceptional. In recent years, the most effective of those policies has been global health — that is, putting U.S. resources to work saving lives in developing nations by spreading health treatments…

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  • A Cancer Moonshot With A Clear Plan

    by Bill Frist

    The Obama administration announced on Monday that it hopes to spend a total of a $1 billion to fund a cancer “moonshot” in search of cures. That amount is likely not sufficient, but it can establish the framework by which the goal can eventually be met.  It is critical that under this rallying cry we…

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  • Congressional Challenges for 2016

    by Bill Frist

    2015 was Congress’s year. For the first time since 2011, both chambers of Congress were led by the same party. Leaders of both the House and Senate worked together on legislation instead of against each other. It was an about face. Unfortunately, election years are notoriously less-productive. But with bipartisan commitment, we can continue to reap the benefits of…

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  • What’s Needed to Remain Competitive in Medical Innovation

    by Bill Frist

    Less than a week ago, Congress voted to increase the NIH budget by $2 billion. That’s a lot of money, but it only just reverses the erosion of federal funding for critical biomedical research. This funding increase is much-needed. But there’s more than can be done on Capitol Hill to re-prioritize lifesaving biomedical research. Read more at…

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  • Our Opportunity Where Health and National Security Converge (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | This week, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and I released a report recommending a policy of strategic health diplomacy, inspired and informed by the success of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  The report’s publication was announced at a conference in Washington, DC, where many of the architects of PEPFAR came together to advocate…

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  • Retreating From Global Leadership Puts America at Risk

    by Bill Frist

    The 2016 presidential campaign is well under way, and the candidates are already jousting over who is best suited to respond to an increasing number of obstacles abroad, ranging from the refugees crisis in Europe and the Middle East, to the threat of ISIS, to Russian aggression under President Vladimir Putin. As Democrats and Republicans,…

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  • What PEPFAR’s Numbers Mean for National Security

    by Bill Frist

    As of last year, PEPFAR supported anti-retroviral treatment for 7.7 million people, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and an astounding 95 percent of at-risk babies were born HIV-free. In 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the one-millionth baby had been born HIV-free because of PEPFAR-supported prevention of mother-to-child transmission. No nation in history has been…

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  • Making Dementia Friendly Communities The New Normal (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Alzheimer’s may be one of the most frightening health challenges today. Over five million Americans—one in eight age 65 and older and one in three age 85 and older—are living with dementia and we don’t yet have a treatment that can prevent or cure the disease. But these men and women are not alone….

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  • Podcast: Medicare and Medicaid at 50

    by Bill Frist

    Fifty years after Medicare and Medicaid were created, healthcare in America is still rapidly evolving. Carefully observing where we’ve been will help inform where we are going, so in today’s special issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman and I look at the Perspectives of Beneficiaries,…

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  • Three Challenges Impacting The Future Of Obamacare (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Last week’s Supreme Court decision puts the Affordable Care Act firmly and securely into institutional and cultural permanence.  It still bears flaws due to its imperfect construction and divisive passage, but after five years, the new certainty for insurance markets will permit a maturity of risk pools, and the more direct and predictable provider…

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  • Killing the superbug: A call for Congressional action

    by Bill Frist

    When Alexander Flemming accepted his Nobel Prize for the discovery of penicillin, he issued a warning to future generations: his miracle drug—responsible for saving millions of lives—could one day be useless. “It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them,” Flemming…

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  • Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind matters to Tennessee (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | Tennessee teachers, parents and local education leaders know what’s best when it comes to educating our children. Federal education law has a powerful role to play in ensuring that our nation’s schools equip the next generation of global leaders, but only if the law is carefully crafted so that local expertise can be…

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  • FDA Reform (Morning Consult)

    by Bill Frist

    MORNING CONSULT | The FDA’s warning letter Anne Wojcicki received as the CEO of 23andMe in November 2013 came as a shock to the direct-to-consumer product industry dealing in the “peri-medical” device space. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not previously made such a move, and perhaps 23andMe was being used to set an example,…

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  • Bill Frist supports Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | Medicaid expansion has been a contentious topic since the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision holding mandatory state participation was unduly coercive. And the arguments against expansion are well-founded: Does the federal government really have enough money to fund this? What happens if the money runs out? We have tried this before and it was…

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  • Helping VA Do Better

    by Bill Frist

    (Military Times, October 15, 2014) By Bill Frist In his second inaugural address, President Lincoln articulated a clear principle to guide our nation’s commitment to military veterans. The goal, he said, should be “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” That sentiment still resonates a…

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  • What a Difference a Decade Makes

    by Bill Frist

    (The Hill, May 28, 2013) By Rep. Barbara Lee and Bill Frist A Democratic Congresswoman and a former Republican Senator aren’t afforded many opportunities to work together. Especially at a time of fiscal crisis when every dollar is scrutinized and fought over, partisanship pushes us into opposite corners. But we agree on a program that…

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  • How to Build a Better Health-Care System

    by Bill Frist

    (Washington Post, April 17, 2013) By Tom Daschle, Bill Frist, Pete Domenici, and Alice Rivlin Tom Daschle, a Democrat and former senator from South Dakota, was Senate majority leader from 2001 to 2003. Bill Frist, a Republican and former senator from Tennessee, was Senate majority leader from 2003 to 2007. Pete Domenici, a Republican and…

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  • States’ Rare Chance to Expand Medicaid

    by Bill Frist

    (Politico, April 11, 2013) By Bill Frist A proposal unveiled by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam late last month leverages federal funds to purchase private coverage for new Medicaid eligibles in the state’s health insurance exchange. In recent weeks, Arkansas became the first state to embrace a similar plan. This market-based approach, known as “premium assistance,”…

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  • We Must Continue Our Legacy of Saving Lives

    by Bill Frist

    (Roll Call, March 7, 2013) Now is no time to shy away from our health investments By Bill Frist A decade ago, as I was beginning my time as Senate majority leader, bipartisan consensus in Washington helped launch a new era of progress in global health just when it was sorely needed. Twenty years had…

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  • Changing the Way Physicians are Paid: Report of the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform

    by Bill Frist

    (Health Affairs Blog, March 4, 2013) By Bill Frist and Steven Schroeder The loud cries warning that rising health care costs are going to destroy the nation’s economy have been shouted so often that the will to move firmly in any one direction has almost halted. We’ve all heard them: health care costs are unsustainable,…

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  • To Contain Health Care Costs, Pay Doctors Differently

    by Bill Frist

    (Politico, March 4, 2013) by Bill Frist and Steven Schroeder Lawmakers have spent decades dancing around how to stop health care costs from eating up greater and greater portions of our overall budget. Even now, the proposals on the table look at cuts in services, asking seniors covered under Medicare to pick up a higher…

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  • What my doctor thinks of Obamacare?

    by Bill Frist

    (The Week, August 29, 2012) Lawmakers in D.C. may truly be committed to improving America’s health-care system. But according to actual physicians, our leaders are going about it all wrong Want real health reform that is in the interest of you and your family? Don’t make the same mistake that Washington did. In formulating ObamaCare,…

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  • Need for Affordable Care Cuts Across Party Lines

    by Bill Frist

    (The Hill, August 1, 2012) Need for affordable care cuts across party lines By Tom Daschle and Bill Frist On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a decision that affects the health and well-being of every American, as well as the fiscal future of our nation. By affirming the constitutionality of the Patient Protection…

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  • Is AIDS the last bipartisan issue?

    by Bill Frist

    (The Week, July 31) These days, Washington can’t agree on anything. Thankfully, though, some brave lawmakers are still willing to cross the aisle to fight a deadly disease. We live in fiercely contentious times. Every day, it seems, a new issue arises that Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on. Health care, taxes, energy, favorite flavor…

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  • Why both parties should embrace ObamaCare’s state exchanges

    by Bill Frist

    (The Week, July 18, 2012) By Bill Frist, M.D. Largely lost in the fight over ObamaCare is a worthy provision that lets states develop insurance systems that are right for them — but they must act soon. When the new health care reform law was being debated in 2009 and 2010, everyone talked about “death…

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  • Helping Haiti Build Back Better

    by Bill Frist

    (The Washington Times, July 13, 2012) As a board member of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, I traveled to Haiti last month to check on the post-earthquake progress being made through the fund’s projects. What I saw confirms that developmental aid can have a greater impact than the humanitarian aid most people know. Moments after…

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  • 5 reasons deficit hawks should lay off global health initiatives

    by Bill Frist

    (The Week, April 24, 2012) By Bill Frist, M.D. America’s national debt is ballooning at a worryingly rapid pace. But some programs ought to be spared the chopping block. Government spending is about to get chopped — no matter who wins the next presidential election. President Obama and his GOP challenger Mitt Romney have both…

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  • Premium Support is the Only Way to Fix America’s Medicare Mess

    by Bill Frist

    (The Week, March 27, 2012) By Bill Frist, M.D. To save Medicare — and rein in our national debt — we must transform the entitlement program into a defined-contribution system Nothing is scarier than losing your health. A close second, however, is getting sick and not being able to afford the care you need. For…

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  • How the Supreme Court’s ‘ObamaCare’ ruling will affect you

    by Bill Frist

    (The Week, March 13, 2012) By Bill Frist, M.D. The nation’s highest court is about to judge the president’s signature legislative achievement — and it’s not just politicians who are invested in the outcome. Is the new health care law constitutional? You might think it doesn’t matter — or at least, that it doesn’t matter…

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  • Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act 2010

    by Bill Frist

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  • Portrait Two

    by Bill Frist

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  • Looking Back On The Portrait Unveiling

    by Bill Frist

    Norman Shumway was smart. Peering over the open chest cavity — a flabby and worthless heart just lifted out and my mentor knowingly guiding my then novice hands as we sewed in a healthy heart — he would say: “Remember … whatever you’re doing at a moment’s time, you never own it.  You are… always……

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  • A Historic and Dangerous Senate Mistake

    by Bill Frist

    By Bill Frist Published: February 26, 2010 Using ‘reconciliation’ to ram through health reform would only deepen partisan passions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that while Democrats have a number of options to complete health-care legislation, he may use the budget reconciliation process to do so. This would be an unprecedented, dangerous and…

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  • Leading the Fight Against Global HIV/AIDS

    by Bill Frist

    The following is text of remarks delivered on the Senate floor.  May 14, 2003 – Senate Floor Remarks Mr. President, the size of HIV is about 100 nanometers. That is tiny, microscopic, and invisible to the naked eye. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. If you divide 3 feet, into 1 billion parts, and…

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  • May 2003 Senate Floor Remarks on HIV/AIDS

    by Bill Frist

    The following is text of remarks delivered on the Senate floor.  May 13, 2003 – Senate Floor Remarks Mr. President, the sequence we just walked through is very important. The sense of urgency for the HIV/AIDS legislation, for me, really boils down to the fact that every 10 seconds somebody is dying from this little…

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  • January 2003 Senate Floor Remarks on HIV/AIDS

    by Bill Frist

    The following is text of remarks delivered on the Senate floor.  Jan. 30, 2003 – Senate Floor Remarks Mr. President, for a few moments before closing tonight–and we have had a very productive day and we will make the more formal announcements in about 15 minutes or so–I take a few moments addressing an issue…

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