Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty Puts Down Marker on Health Care Law

By Jenny Schlesinger

Aug 31, 2010 3:06pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is moving to limit his state’s participation in the new health care law, in a piece of 2012 positioning that is sure put other governors who covet the presidency on the spot. Pawlenty, R-Minn., today signed an executive order forbidding his state’s agencies for applying for new grant programs made available under President Obama’s health care law. Pawlenty said he has identified some 15 categories where he believes the new law would conflict with Minnesota policies, including a new sex education program, where the governor rejected an $850,000 grant yesterday. “Obamacare is an intrusion by the federal government into personal health care matters and it’s an explosion of federal spending that does nothing to make health care more affordable,” Pawlenty said in a statement. “To the fullest extent possible, we need to keep Obamacare out of Minnesota. This executive order will stop Minnesota’s participation in projects that are laying the groundwork for a federally-controlled healthcare system.” Pawlenty told reporters in Minnesota that he would do all in his power to limit the reach of the new health care law during his remaining four months in office. “Anything that I can do to slow down, limit or negate Obamacare, I'm going to try to do it within reason,” he said. The move is sure to put pressure on other Republican governors who are considering presidential runs to demonstrate their opposition to the law. Other Republican presidential contenders who now serve as governor include Indiana’s Mitch Daniels, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal. The move also serves to differentiate Pawlenty from former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., who is no longer in office and therefore can’t make any similar move. Pawlenty has already begun criticizing Romney for the health care law he passed to bring universal coverage to Massachusetts – a bill Pawlenty and other Romney critics have cast as a model for Obama’s health care plan. UPDATE: The Democratic National Committee blasted back at Pawlenty, putting out a mocking “translated version” of the governor’s executive order — identifying Pawlenty as “R-Iowa” — and accusing him of putting his political interests ahead of those of his state.  ”After rejecting $7.8 billion dollars for his cash-strapped state where taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet and denying health care to a quarter million of his fellow Minnesotans, Tim Pawlenty’s executive order to state employees might as well have read ‘You will henceforth work for my Presidential ambitions instead of the people of Minnesota,’”  DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan said. -Rick Klein

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus