Former Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole (R-Kans.) offered some choice words to his fellow Republicans: Stop impeding healthcare reform.

Dole, who was speaking at an event in Kansas City, chided the party for their handling of the healthcare debate, and he said the GOP in general needed to stop "putting up a 'no' sign and saying, 'we're not open for business.'"

"I want this to pass," he added, as reported by the Kansas City Star. "I don't agree with everything Obama is presenting, but we've got to do something."

Dole is just one of a few former Republican heavyweights who have recently come out in favor of the White House's healthcare reform effort. Although most of those retired lawmakers -- including Senate Republican Leaders Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) -- have expressed only qualified support for the proposals before Congress, all have reaffirmed the need for comprehensive reform very soon.

"This is one of the most important measures members of Congress will vote on in their lifetimes," he said. "If we don't do it this year I don't know when we're going to do it."

According to Dole, the party's leadership has not taken too kindly to his recent efforts. He suggested during his event on Wednesday that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) asked him not to offer a statement in support of the Democrats' healthcare proposals -- a conversation, McConnell's office clarified Thursday, that actually never happened.

McConnell's spokesman said little else of the dispute, telling an AP reporter that the majority leader, like Dole, also supports healthcare reform.