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Tommy Thompson Endorses Health Care Reform Bill

October 6, 2009

The growing number of very public faces, many Republican, that are adding their thoughts about the need to pass health care reform this year now includes former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.

In a statement distributed by the White House Monday, Tommy Thompson — the former Republican presidential candidate, health and human services secretary in the Bush administration, and four-term governor of Wisconsin — gives strong praise to the health care legislation that is expected to be voted on by the Senate Finance Committee later this week.

The statement, prepared jointly by Mr. Thompson and Richard Gephardt, the former Democratic House majority leader, warns that “there are some issues that remain troublesome and unresolved in the Senate Finance Committee’s bill.” But it calls the legislation “another important step toward achieving the goal of health care reform this year.” And more bluntly, it says: “Failure to reach an agreement on health reform this year is not an acceptable option.”

Mr. Thompson, who briefly ran for his party’s 2008 nomination for president, is the latest high-profile Republican to speak out in support of the developing health care legislation. The former Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, said in a Time magazine interview last week that were he still serving in Congress he would vote for the health care bill.

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