Pawlenty announces opt out of early Medicaid enrollment


As expected, Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced today that Minnesota will opt out of early Medicaid enrollment contained in the new federal health care law.  An official decision is required because of compromise language the governor and legislative leaders worked out at the end of session.  Pawlenty said he wants more health care reform and opting in would cost $430 million over the next three years “Signing Minnesota up early for this entitlement program would strain the state budget and put us at significant risk.”


State Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL –Duluth) and State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL – St. Paul) reacted:  “Delaying early MA prevents Minnesota from capturing a federal match for state dollars we are already spending. Patients will still show up in our hospitals, but the cost of care will be passed onto middle class families through higher health care premiums. Increasing health care costs for middle class families is not a wise move as we emerge from this recession” said Huntley.  This is a clear cut, common sense path to improve health care for Minnesotans. It’s disappointing our outgoing governor is throwing up a roadblock,” said Murphy.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/23/2010 - 03:09 pm.

    I recently spoke with Rep. Huntley regarding this subject.

    His response to the news that President Obama had singled out Medicaid and Medicare as the two biggest contributors to the national deficit and debt “by a huge margin” was, and I quote “If we don’t get it, someone else will.”

    I think it is exactly this type of irresponsible, ill considered leadership that has brought this country to the financial brink of disaster.

    His Democrat critics will claim that Tim Pawlenty is using this issue to further enhance his national reputation as a fiscally prudent, responsible steward of the public treasure….but isn’t that a *good* thing?

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 06/24/2010 - 01:23 pm.

    The two biggest contributors to our current deficits (and the wasting of the surplus left to Bush by Clinton) are two unfunded wars with no end yet in sight and the tax cuts for wealthy folks who did not use the extra money to create jobs.

    Each of these two accounted for about half the annual deficit during the Bush years, all of which he left to Obama — to be joined by the bank bailout and spending to counter the current recession.

    Medicare and Medicaid ain’t the problem. War and the deliberate use of tax policy to transfer the nation’s wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich are.

  3. Submitted by Dion Goldman on 06/24/2010 - 03:38 pm.

    Agree, as I believe that Bush left the cost of both wars “off the books” so we don’t really know the costs.

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