Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s first presidential TV ad in Iowa hit the airwaves today, and Minnesota’s DFL quickly responded, trying to debunk the candidate’s claims.
Said DFL Chair Ken Martin in a statement:
“Tim Pawlenty’s new ad is laughable given its rampant inaccuracy when compared to his record. So let’s cut through the rhetoric: Tim Pawlenty drove up property taxes on Minnesotans by $2.7 billion and left a historic budget deficit. And the only health reform Tim Pawlenty brought to our state was to award no-bid contracts to HMOs for state health programs.
“Pawlentycare was abysmal for Minnesota — resulting in higher premiums and fewer people insured, a higher burden on hospitals and lower quality care, and harm to the most vulnerable citizens paired with job losses around the state. No matter how he tries to spin it, Tim Pawlenty’s ‘right way’ to lead only catered to special interests and left consumers and patients stuck with the bill.”
The DFL statement listed these particulars:
Higher premiums, fewer people insured.
The number of uninsured Minnesotans jumped from 6.1% in the year before Tim Pawlenty was elected, to 9.1% in 2009. [Minnesota Department of Health, 02/10]
The cost of insurance premiums for Minnesotans with private insurance doubled. [Minnesota Department of Health, 11/09]
Northfield News Editorial: Pawlenty’s Plan To Cut Health Care Funding “Looks In The Wrong Direction,” Will Result In Higher Medical Bills For Minnesotans. [Editorial, Northfield News, 5/1/09]
Higher burden on hospitals, lower quality care.
Minnesota Medical Association President: Pawlenty’s Health Care Cuts “Ultimately would increase health care costs and premiums for Minnesota businesses and individuals.” [Noel R. Peterson, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 6/7/09]
Star Tribune Editorial: Pawlenty’s Elimination Of Health Care Program For Low Income Adults Merely Shifted Health Care “Costs Off Of The State’s Ledger And Onto Others — Mostly Those Of Privately Insured People.” [Editorial, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 7/11/09]
Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota Criticized Pawlenty’s Proposal to cut $36 Million from Their Budget Would Have “Severe Long-Term Impacts On Core Services And On Quality Of Care.” [Minnesota Post, 6/9/09]
Job losses in Minnesota
Minnesota Hospital Association: Pawlenty’s Cut To GAMC “Would Likely Eliminate Over 7,500 Jobs,” Mark Krinkie of the Minnesota Hospital Association testified to the Minnesota legislature that Gov. Tim Pawlenty cuts to the GAMC program “would likely eliminate over 7,500 jobs in the state’s hospital system.” [Politics In Minnesota, 5/21/09]
Minnesota Medical Association President: Pawlenty’s Health Care Cuts “Ultimately would increase health care Costs and premiums for Minnesota businesses and individuals.” [Noel R. Peterson, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 6/7/09]
Rochester Post-Bulletin Editorial: Pawlenty’s Hospital Budget Cuts Would Result in Lay-Offs, Rising Costs For Consumers, & Refusal Of Medicare Patients. [Editorial, Post-Bulletin (Rochester, MN), 4/28/09]
Harm to the state’s most vulnerable citizens
“Pawlenty’s Unilateral Budget Cuts To Health Care Would Cause Some Nursing Homes To Close, Reduce Access To Seniors And Limit Personal Care For Seniors.” [Twin Cities Pioneer Press, 6/16/09]
Human Services Commissioner: The Health Care Program Pawlenty Cut Served “The Poorest And Sickest Amongst Us.” [KARE, 5/16/09]
Pawlenty Cut Funding For Personal Care Services For As Many As 1,600 Disabled Minnesotans. In 2009, Minnesota Public Radio reported that “Gov. Pawlenty signed a Health and Human Services budget bill that will cut funding for personal care attendants. Estimates say as many as 1,600 disabled people will lose PCA services altogether. Another 7,000 people…could lose hours.” [Minnesota Public Radio, 6/4/09]
Pawlenty Proposed $1.3 Billion Cut In Health & Human Services Funding, Would Cut 113,000 Minnesotans From State Health Care Plan. [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4/27/09]
Editorial: Pawlenty Is Wrong To Cut $764 Million In Hospital Funding & Remove 93,000 Minnesotans From State Health Programs. [Editorial, International Falls Daily Journal, 4/24/09]
Pawlenty cut spending on critical services which hurt Minnesotans and small businesses and drove up property taxes by $2.7 billion.
“During Pawlenty’s Tenure…State And Local Tax Rates Have Increased For 90 Percent Of Minnesotans.” [MinnPost.com, 2/15/10]
Under Governor Pawlenty, Property Taxes Were Up By Nearly $2.7 Billion. Under Pawlenty, total statewide property taxes have increased by nearly $2.7 billion from 2003 to 2009 or 53.8 percent. [Minnesota House Research Department, Property Tax Simulations – 9A6, 1/7/10; 8A4, 1/8/10; 7A5, 9/27/07; 6A5, 8/18/06; 5A4, 9/19/05; 4C6, 12/29/04; 3G1, 8/26/03]