Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed an executive order today that requires all state agencies to decline all discretionary participation in the federal health care law.
In a news release issued this afternoon, Pawlenty is quoted as saying, "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,” Governor 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.”
The executive order prohibits state agencies from applying for grant funding programs and demonstration projects tied to the new health care law.
This comes as DFL legislative leaders have been blasting the governor for turning down money tied to the new health care law. Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, issued a press release for rejecting $850,000 in funding for sex education aimed at preventing teen pregnancy. In total, Murphy said Pawlenty has rejected or delayed $1.7 billion in federal funding available to Minnesota.
“The Governor might find rejecting federal dollars to be a winning political strategy in Iowa or New Hampshire, but it is not a winning strategy for Minnesotans who need jobs or schools that lack resources,” said Murphy in a written statement. “While Minnesota stands still, other states are moving forward. We need leaders who will pursue every available option to get Minnesota’s economy and education system back on track.”