Pawlenty Orders Minnesota Not To Apply For Federal Health Care Reform Money

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) is taking a bold step among Republicans opposed to the new federal health care reform law. As his latest move, Pawlenty has issued an executive order forbidding his state’s officials from applying for grant money from the new law.

Pawlenty’s order allows only applications for money that are required by law — which would seemingly mean that this is not a case of nullification, and falls short of such an extreme step — or approved by the governor’s office.

Pawlenty’s order contains various points of explanation, taken right from Republican arguments against the new law, such as: “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 also: “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.”

This move to swear off federal health care money could be worth a lot — namely, a potential gain of five points in the Iowa caucuses in 2012.