Tim Pawlenty orders Minnesota not to access federal health care reform money
Minnesota government agencies have been ordered by Gov. Tim Pawlenty not to participate in any of the discretionary benefits contained in federal health care overhaul legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama earlier this year.
So in case you were hoping for a break on your medical costs any time soon, forget it. The governor says you can't have it.
"All executive branch departments and agencies are directed that no application shall be submitted to the federal government in connection with requests for grant funding for programs and demonstration projects deriving from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," he said in the order.
Unless we're talking about federal funding for failed abstinence-only sex education, of course.
DFL state Rep. Erin Murphy reacted this way via Twitter: "Flirting with extreme right, Pawlenty directs agencies to decline discretionary participation in the Affordable Care Act and needed reform.
The Democratic National Committee was more direct in a press release: "After rejecting $7.8 billion dollars for his cash-strapped state where taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet and denying health care to a quarter million of his fellow Minnesotans, Tim Pawlenty's executive order to state employees might as well have read 'You will henceforth work for my Presidential ambitions instead of the people of Minnesota.'"
Here's the text of the order:
I, TIM PAWLENTY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and applicable laws do hereby issue this executive order:
WHEREAS, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA" or "the Act") (Pub.L. 111-148) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010; and
WHEREAS, the Act represents a dramatic attempt to assert federal command and control over this country's health care system, which accounts for one-sixth of our nation's economy, thereby reducing individual freedom for health care decisions; and
WHEREAS, the Act includes unprecedented federal intrusions into individual liberty, including the mandate that individual citizens are compelled to purchase health insurance under penalty of law; and
WHEREAS, the Act was passed with massive new spending commitments at a time when the growing federal government debt threatens private sector economic growth; and
WHEREAS, the revenue to pay for the Act is based on increased taxes and fees coupled with unrealistic assumptions regarding purported future cost-savings; and
WHEREAS, this legislation includes a multitude of programs and demonstration projects intended to speed the transition to federally-controlled health care; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Laws of Minnesota 2010, 1st Special Session, Chapter 1 (Special Session Chapter 1) my Administration has determined Minnesota will not participate in the early expansion of the Medicaid entitlement program offered by the federal government as part of the legislation; and
WHEREAS, consistent with this determination and in recognition of my obligations to protect Minnesota's sovereign interests and those of its citizens, the boundary between state and federal government must be maintained to prevent an unwise and unsustainable federal takeover of health care in our State.
NOW, THEREFORE, I hereby order that:
All executive branch departments and agencies are directed that no application shall be submitted to the federal government in connection with requests for grant funding for programs and demonstration projects deriving from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA" or "the Act") (Pub.L. 111-148) unless otherwise required by law, or approved by the office of the Governor.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2009, section 4.035, subdivision 2, this Executive Order will be effective fifteen (15) days after publication in the State Register and filing with the Secretary of State and will remain in effect in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 2009, section 4.035, subdivision 3.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have set my hand this 31st day of August, 2010.
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