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Frist: Here's the answer to health-care costs

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 | 9:08 AM ET
Obamacare failing; health care costs will skyrocket: Frist
Monday, 18 Nov 2013 | 8:07 AM ET
Former Senate Majority Leader and heart & lung surgeon Bill Frist (R), discusses whether health care costs are "skyrocketing" due to the economy; as well as the implementation of Obamacare.

Former Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn, a heart and lung transplant surgeon, has a unconventional answer to calm the rising tide of health-care costs threatening businesses and consumers alike, and it has little to do with Obamacare.

A huge fan of wearable devices like Jawbone and Fitbit, Frist told CNBC on Monday that the trend toward data-tracking of diet and exercise among the tech-savvy could lead to a "revolution" in health care led by more empowered consumers.

"The overall cost of health care is not better doctors, it's not Obamacare, not Vanderbilt, not Harvard, not Romneycare," Frist said on "Squawk Box." "The overall driver of health-care costs and health-care spending is 40 percent behavior how we take care of ourselves."

(Read more: Larry Summers: Obamacare already better than expected)

Frist told CNBC that President Barack Obama, who's been under siege for the botched opening of his landmark health-care law and its glitch-prone website, focused on the wrong issue when he introduced the bill. Obama should have focused on driving down costs before expanding access, Frist said.

"This is what people tend to lose in Washington and television shows," Frist said. "There is a revolution going on health care today and a transformation that is totally different from when I was doing transplants or my dad was doing internal medicine. It's being made possible by a consumer that is increasingly smart and empowered with information."

(Read more: Planning retirement? Don't forget Medicare costs)

—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen. Follow him on Twitter at @jmorganteen.

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