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Former Senate Majority Leader, Princeton Economist Joust on Future of Health Care
Date:5/16/2008

'What this country needs is more unemployed politicians - and economists'

ORLANDO, Fla., May 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Although nearly all voters place health care at the top of their "most-important issues" list, a looming federal budgetary crunch means none of the health care plans advanced by any of the current presidential candidates is likely to become law anytime soon, says former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Jousting with Princeton University Health care Economist Uwe Reinhardt today at the Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS) National Drug Trend Symposium held here, Frist told attendees, "If we don't do something about this in the future, your American Dream -- your earning capacity -- is gone."

Reflecting back to Babe Ruth's legendary "pointing prediction" for a home run in the 1932 World Series, Frist suggested the presidential candidates also now taking their turns at bat, floating varied versions of health care reform, but, "the question is where are they pointing to?"

"Elections matter," Frist said, adding that, "Legislating is a complicated process and legislation takes a long time to pass." Frist, as Senate Majority Leader, was a driving force behind legislation to modernize Medicare. He said the next president would be hamstrung by the "pay-as-you-go" realities of the federal budgetary process.

Reinhardt, who mentored Frist as a Princeton undergraduate, poked fun at his student-turned transplant surgeon-turned politician fired back: "Given that I taught him to do health policy right, why didn't he do it?"

"Americans suffer a mental condition called cognitive dissonance," said Reinhardt, adding that although voters claim to decry socialized medicine, that's the system curren
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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