Frist backtracks support for healthcare reform bill

Perhaps former Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) doesn't support Senate Democrats' healthcare reform efforts.

Days after he told Time's Karen Tumulty he "would end up voting" for the healthcare bill -- though he did not specify which of the five bills he supported -- Frist clarified to ABC that he was not behind the Senate Finance Committee's proposal.

“There are five bills on the floor now -- none of them are perfect. People try to put words in my mouth saying ‘You support the Baucus bill.’ I don’t support the Baucus bill as written today,” he told ABC in an interview.

Presumably, Frist still stands by his other comments -- formost among them that he supports an individual mandate, and that he remains unhappy with some of the bill's cost-cutting measures.

But the former senator did temper his earlier criticism of his old colleagues, who he previously said had "overblown" the debates over the public option and alleged "death panels."

“The Republicans right now feel like they’ve been left out of the table,” Frist said. “There’s some egregious things in [the bill] that will cost all the taxpayers too much money and not give them anything.”

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