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Pawlenty letter asks state congressional delegation to drop ‘flawed attempt at health reform’

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.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/29/2009 - 11:04 am.

    The gall of our governor knows no bounds.

    He says our Congressional delegation should “…evaluate what states have done to improve health care quality and make healthcare more accessible and affordable”?

    “affordable”? Here he can only be referring to the state’s budget.

    “accessible”? This is either a typo or an attempt at deception. He should have written “INaccessible”, as it will be for the tens of thousands he says he will sweep off the Medicaid rolls.

    The idea that this man has any chance at our Presidency is a very scary thought, in terms of the public interest in health care.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/29/2009 - 11:39 am.

    Our governor’s image of those who are deserving of healthcare includes only those who have, by any and all means necessary, managed to accumulate great wealth. If you’re making less than millions annually, you are and should be on your own and continue to be easy prey for our high profit, low benefit health insurance industry as far as Tim is concerned.

    The only plan he (and many of his fellow Republicans) actually has for healthcare is made clear by his very destructive actions toward the elderly (lack of adequate nursing home reimbursement), and poor (zeroing out of the general assistance medical program) in Minnesota and reflected well in the immortal words of Dickens’ Ebeneezer Scrooge… that the poor and less fortunate, “better [die] and decrease the surplus population.”

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/29/2009 - 01:02 pm.

    Gov. Pawlenty is providing much needed guidance to Minnesota’s Democrat congress members as well as leading the Republican Governors Association by example.

    Common sense Minnesotan’s will follow the Governors lead, too, and contact their representatives and encourage them to drop Obama’s reckless plan to socialize health care.

  4. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 07/29/2009 - 01:23 pm.

    Greg K: You can’t say enough bad things about Tim Pawlenty for me. This is the one and only time, however, that I actually agree with him.

    The Massachusetts Plan has not saved the state money, as the governor notes, and is instead wildly over budget. Massachusetts recently kicked 30,000 legal immigrants out of the program to save money. (What are they to do? Who knows?) On the 17th, it was sued by a major medical center for paying the center far less than what is needed to maintain its programs that serve the poor and uninsured.

    I’m thinking the best thing Washington could do (especially rather than inflicting the MassPlan on all 50 states) would be to pass Bernie Sanders (I-VT) plan to allow each state to create its own plan for universal health care (see S-703), which is similar to a plan proposed a few years ago by Senator Feingold (D-WI).

  5. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 07/29/2009 - 10:08 pm.

    I am glad they (GOP) have a plan. Especially one I understand. Denial

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