Pawlenty Plans To Still Take Some Health Care Money From Feds

It turns out that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), who ordered his state yesterday to not apply for grant money from the federal health care reform law that he opposed, isn’t being completely inflexible. In fact, he’s signaling that he could end up accepting other health care money from the federal government — just not health care funds from that particular law.

As the Star Tribune reported Tuesday evening, the state will still probably take $263 million in federal Medicaid money that passed as part of an emergency spending package for the states — a package that Pawlenty opposed.

“We’ll likely take that money,” Pawlenty said. “It’s not Obamacare, it is something that we were going to be doing anyhow.”Pawlenty has until September 24 to decide whether to take this Medicaid money.

Also from their report:

“We’re going to take the money for those things that we were going to do anyhow and for the Medicaid (money), we were going to do that anyhow,” Pawlenty said. He said he also wanted to check if accepting the money would bind the hands of the next governor, and it appears it will not.

Further, the governor said, Minnesota is a net donor to the federal government — sending in more money than it gets back — so “where it’s appropriate and where it’s wise and doesn’t further some stupid policy agenda or otherwise concerns us or sign us up for something that is unsustainable or otherwise cause us a problem, we’re going to apply for those other pots of money.”