Governor Tim Pawlenty signing an executive order to decline “Obamacare” set off a firestorm of responses. Pawlenty said “To the fullest extent possible, we need to keep Obamacare out of Minnesota. This executive order will stop Minnesota’s participation in projects that are laying the groundwork for a federally-controlled healthcare system.”
First leading DFL health care lawmakers sounded off. “The Governor’s obstruction on health care is hurting care providers, patients and most importantly, costing Minnesotans jobs when we can least afford it,” said State Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL – Duluth). “There are still over 200,000 Minnesotans out of work and the response from Governor Pawlenty and the Republican Party can be summed up in three words – just say no,” said State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL – St. Paul).
Then the Minnesota Aids Project said “Governor Tim Pawlenty has rejected $850,000 from the federal government that would fund community based teen pregnancy prevention programming. These federal funds did not require state matching funds, which essentially makes it free money.”
Planned Parenthood added “Because of this executive order, the state of Minnesota will not be allowed to share in the bipartisan progress made through health care reform. It’s an unconscionable move at the expense of the health of Minnesotans,” said Sarah Stoesz, PPMNS President.
The Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenthood said “Sadly, Minnesota’s young people have been discounted with the recent decision to decline nearly $1 million in federal funding aimed at providing teenagers with information on contraception and disease prevention, as well as education on the benefits of delaying sexual activity.”
Take Action Minnesota had tough talk “Governor Pawlenty turned in his veto pen for a heavy-duty paint sprayer. It is by now old news that Governor Pawlenty’s agenda is geared towards his planned run for U.S. President in 2012. The developing story is the toll that Governor Pawlenty’s run for office will take on Minnesotans. With one broad stroke, today’s executive order derisively rejects a multitude of valuable opportunities to expand and improve health care for Minnesotans.”
The MN Hospital Association, Medical Association, Council of Health Plans issued the statement “We are extremely disappointed Gov. Pawlenty decided not to apply for money that will help Minnesota plan how to best implement health care changes. In the past, the Governor signed comprehensive health reform legislation in Minnesota with many of the same objectives as this federal legislation.”
Back to Pawlenty, the possible presidential candidate gave his reasoning as “Obamacare is an intrusion by the federal government into personal health care matters and it’s an explosion of federal spending that does nothing to make health care more affordable.”