Gov. Tim Pawlenty sent a letter Tuesday to Minnesota’s two U.S. senators and eight representatives, asking them to reject the current health care reform package and focus, instead, on cost containment, quality and access.
“This flawed attempt at healthcare reform would do little to solve the health care cost crisis facing our nation. I encourage you to abandon this legislation and instead evaluate what states have done to improve health care quality and make healthcare more accessible and affordable,” he wrote.
See the letter here. (PDF)
Pawlenty’s increasing national profile led to coverage of the letter in The Hill, a D.C.-based publication focusing on the Capitol.
And The Hill article noted that the governor’s letter takes a shot at Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a likely Pawlenty rival in the GOP presidential sweepstakes.
The bill before Congress, he said, is similar to a program implemented in Massachusetts, where costs have run higher than expected. Pawlenty said the costs of the Massachusetts plan, which succeeded in reducing the number of the uninsured, is up to $1.3 billion for 2009, well above the $387 million originally budgeted when it was passed earlier this decade.
The shot at Massachusetts is an implicit attack on the Bay State’s former governor, Mitt Romney (R). Romney, a leading contender for the 2008 GOP nomination who is contemplating another run in 2012, played a major role in passing the Massachusetts healthcare reform plan.