October 21st, 2009
04:18 PM ET
5 years ago

Pawlenty reaches out to governors over health care reform

 Gov. Pawlenty has penned a letter to his fellow governors.
Gov. Pawlenty has penned a letter to his fellow governors.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty reached out Wednesday to his fellow governors throughout the country with his proposal for states to work together to allow the purchase of health insurance across state lines.

Pawlenty's proposal, called the "Interstate Health Insurance Compact," "would allow participating states to share common regulatory standards," Pawlenty writes in a letter to his 49 counterparts.

Pawlenty also wrote that banding together would allow states to facilitate purchasing insurance across their borders and, drawing on terms frequently used by the Obama administration in its push for health care reform legislation, the Minnesota Republican said such a change would increase "competition and choice."

"[H]ealth insurance is an area that would benefit from a consistent standards to enable true market competition to flourish nationally," Pawlenty's letter says, "Those standards should be informed by the collective wisdom of those closest to consumers – states and their insurance regulators."

Pawlenty initially rolled out his proposal to allow Minnesotans to purchase health insurance across state lines last week. Wednesday's letter invites the country's 49 other governors to join in that proposal.

Pawlenty is widely considered a likely contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and his proposal regarding the interstate purchase of health insurance is a proposal mentioned frequently by congressional Republicans who oppose many of the details of Democratic health care reform proposals.

After a trade group for the health insurance industry released a report critical of the health care reform bill produced by the Senate Finance Committee, Democrats in the Senate have said they may seek to repeal the federal law that prohibits the sale of health insurance across state lines and that also exempts health insurers from antitrust laws. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary committee approved a measure that would strip the health insurance industry of some of its protections from federal antritrust laws.


Filed under: Health care • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Something on health care that makes sense: Let us choose from insurance companies. Don't hinder the companies because of state lines. Open up competition. Another example of why too much regulation hinders the free market.

    October 21, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. phoenix86

    The best ways to curb healthcare costs are to:

    1. Allow for cross state health insurance (eliminate the monopoly in the states) and;

    2. Tort Reform.

    The best way to INCREASE healthcare costs is to:

    1. Enact a public option.

    Pretty simple for anyone willing to put some thought into it.

    October 21, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Peter s

    When will repubnlicans stop duping people with free market competition?. who said there is anything like free market? it only exists within those who have! to the common joe, jane it doesn't exist period!!

    October 21, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. I Got Mine, Get Yours!

    Well, well! I can finally support Pawlenty on something. The House Committee responsible for anti-trust legislation just passed a removal of the insurance industry anti-trust immunity with 3 Republicans voting "yes".

    Did the light bulb finally go on?

    October 21, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Liberals are Sneaky

    Sell across state lines!? Man are you insane!? That would be...CAPITALISM!!!!!

    October 21, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Mike

    A republican that makes sense!! whats going on here?

    October 21, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Kim in Mpls

    Being from Minnesota I can say that this guy is no longer "our" Governor. He is never in the local news only the national. He should do a "Palin" and step down.

    Also, can any one tell me why another state would have cheaper insurance costs over my state? What comes to mind is if I buy a new car in Idaho why would it be any cheaper... the same goes for insurance. Tim Pawlenty the man for real solutions? No that bulb never lit.

    October 21, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Jim

    While I am for allowing interstate insurance policies, it would by no means be a cure-all for all the problems in the health care system. An insurer in Texas is going to have the same insentive to not cover preexisting conditions as an insurer in Minnesota. And it also wouldn't change the fact that insurers have an incentive to NOT provide coverage to those they insure. Every claim they cover cuts into their profits.

    There are so many market failures in the health industry – be it with the providers, insurers, payors, or patients – that this is the one industy we absolutely do NOT want to run solely by the free market. If these Republicans would actually take an economics course and not just spout text book examples of what isn't found in the real world, I could die happy.

    October 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. jean

    Pawlenty needs to resign, plain and simple. He is not sincere in his outreached. The country is in enough trouble. America does not need anymore Republicans screwing it up further. Pawlenty, go away! Please?

    October 21, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Steven Ertelt

    A great idea that is so simple it is absurd why we're forced to pay billions and add to the defecit with a government takeover program. Instead of debt-based Obama-care, ideas like this will give us more access to health care.

    October 21, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "would allow participating states to share common regulatory standards,"

    Dummy. That's no different than if the federal gov't mandated them for ALL states, which is something that should be on the table as part of the health care reform bill. He's just trying to play the angle.

    October 21, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Lynn

    But what about the power of insurance companies to drop a person when they become sick or refuse coverage because they had childhood cancer 30 yrs. ago. We all will pay more for health insurance next year, but who is getting rich? Not the doctors, not the hospitals, but follow the money back to the insurance companies. See the largest and most lavish building in town and it's often an insurance company. Check out the CEO bonuses, all the while saving money for the insurance company by dumping high risk people. Nothing wrong with showing profits, but not when they're ripping off the public.

    October 21, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. hongli

    Tim Pawlenty is a FRAUD.

    October 21, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. VernisRobertson

    Go somewhere and sit down Pawlenty . Your party didn't want to fix health the last pass decade , all your party wanted to do is start wars. Know all of a sudden the Republican party is a expert on health care. Give me a break ...

    October 21, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. eolufemi

    Great problem solving without the partisan rhetoric. Coupled with what the Congress is doing this will be a win for the public.

    October 21, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. A.B.

    Pawlenty has no real solution to America's healthcare insurance problems and should just fade into obscurity. This is another example of the fact that republican leaders have no real strategies or solutions to solving this healthcare insurance problem and have done absolutely notthing during the era of their reign. Does Pawlenty have a comprehensive health insurance program in his state? No, he does not. President Obama and the Democrats will knock the wind out of Pawlenty's 2010 presidential asperations by passing H.R. 3200 before the end of this year. The root cause of the nation's health insurance problems is the failure of the private market system and the greed and arrogance of the private insurance industry.

    October 21, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. wycliffe

    Johnny come late proposals meant to derail, delay and stop on going reconciliations of earlier proposed measures in the house and senate

    October 21, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. A.B.

    Pawlenty has no real solution to America's healthcare insurance problems and should just fade into obscurity. This is another example of the fact that republican leaders have no real strategies or solutions to solving this healthcare insurance problem and have done absolutely notthing during the era of their reign. Does Pawlenty have a comprehensive health insurance program in his state? No, he does not. President Obama and the Democrats will knock the wind out of Pawlenty's 2012 presidential asperations by passing H.R. 3200 before the end of this year. The root cause of the nation's health insurance problems is the failure of the private market system and the greed and arrogance of the private insurance industry.

    October 21, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Buddy Gilmour

    Grandstanding for the fans, guess he feels ignored with Palin's book coming out. Regardless, I have more faith in the Dems to do something that will benefit the most people and not just cut rates for those who can already afford gold-plated health plans.

    October 21, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. wycliffe

    Pawlenty is a Dummy Federal laws will make sure the laws apply equally in every state.

    October 21, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. michael

    Why is all reform suggested in this country about insurance coverage? Why not simply bypass the thieves market that is our insurance system and look at direct care as many countries in Europe do. Why not have government supported health care for every individual, WITHOUT any insurance involved? And, while you are at it, lose Medicaid and Medicare and fold their funding into direct care. Simple and elegant. Let the insurers starve on their own schemes.

    October 21, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. LacrosseMom

    PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT PUBLIC OPTION IS!

    The Public Option is similar to Medicare & Medicaid, it would be government run healthcare.

    WE NEED THE PUBLIC OPTION TO ENSURE COMPETITION!

    CAPITALISM IS ALL ..... ABOUT..... COMPETITION!

    In the meantime, 122 Americans died TODAY because they do not have healthcare!

    October 21, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Frank, Las Vegas

    Yes open up state lines, however, unless you eliminate the anti-trust exclusion and have a public option in the mix, prices will not come down. It will be just another gift to the insurance companies who have bought and paid for the GOP.

    October 21, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Tommygunn

    Tim, why are you just now going for Health Care Reform? This is so disingenuous.

    Pony up and let your party know you are open for YES, with the States controlling the Option as long as it is in favor of the People.

    Reform is LONG OVERDUE and cost to keep everything respectable is what AMERICA wants. Not NO because of all the rhetoric. But Yes if these conditions are added.

    Come On....

    October 21, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "The best way to INCREASE healthcare costs is to:

    1. Enact a public option."

    Not one shred of empirical evidence supports that conclusion. In fact, it ALL disproves it. But that's ok...we know you GOPers love the fingers in the ears "lalalalalalala" repeat what you want to be true incessantly method of ignoring reality.

    October 21, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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