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.