In an editorial on ConservativeHome, editor Tim Montgomerie revealed that three Conservative cabinet ministers had ‘rung the alarm bells’ over the Bill.
One minister insisted that the Bill should be dropped and another called for health secretary Andrew Lansley to be replaced. The third ‘likened the NHS reforms to the poll tax,’ Mr Montgomerie said.
According to the Conservative site, Tory ministers believe the prime minister David Cameron needs ‘an external shock to wake him to the scale of the problem’.
Mr Montgomerie described the Bill as ‘not only mangled and bureaucratic, but also unnecessary’.
Mr Lansley will have to step down but he should not take all of the blame for the Bill, Mr Montgomerie said.
‘Unfortunately, however, the NHS has become a big negative for our party again and it’s easier to move forward with a new frontman or a new frontwoman.’
Mr Montgomerie argued that Mr Cameron now has two options: remove all contentious components of the Bill or press on with the Bill in its current form.
The latter would create a ‘chronic electoral problem’, Mr Montgomerie warned, leaving the Conservative party open to criticism over the NHS for years to come.
‘The NHS Bill is not just a distraction from all of this but potentially fatal to the Conservative Party's electoral prospects. It must be stopped before it's too late,' he said.
In response to the editorial Conservative peer Baroness Warsi defended the Bill, and argued that all party members should support it.
‘The Health Bill represents the most radical decentralisation of power that the NHS has witnessed in its history. As Conservatives, it is our duty to support it,’ she said.
Earlier this week the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) and the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHCM) were the last professional bodies to declare opposition to the Bill.