October 23rd, 2009
01:45 PM ET
4 years ago

Pawlenty: Health care plan not a contrast with Obama

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty rolled out a series of new health care proposals earlier this month.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty rolled out a series of new health care proposals earlier this month.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Thursday that his proposal to allow consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines is a "good idea" and is not intended to draw a contrast with President Obama's health care agenda in Washington.

Pawlenty, who is enhancing his national profile as he mulls a presidential run in 2012, argued that his plan would increase competition among insurance companies and drive down health care costs.

"It's not meant to contrast with anything other than to advance good ideas that will hopefully improve health care and the cost of health care and provide people more health care choices," he told reporters after a Washington fundraiser for his political action committee on Thursday evening.

The Minnesota governor sent a letter to the country's 49 other governors earlier this week urging them to band together to support his proposal.

"We are trying to promote good ideas, and I think those are good ideas," he said. "I don't think it's limited to being Republican or Democaat. We're hoping some Democratic governors will sign on to that as well."


Filed under: Minnesota • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. kj

    Hello I am from Minnesota and I apologize for his reasoning skills....

    If I, a male age "upper 40's", calls United HealthCare asking for a policy here in Minneapolis and then drive to each neighboring state calling with the same information, I am going to save money?

    Gee I haven't heard the buzz that Wisc, Iowa or either Dakota's have cheaper care than us in Minn. I know we have more care than most so that the competition in my back yard should make it cheap and it ain’t cheap in Minn. Neither is my Property Tax TIM!

    oh Does that work with cars too.

    October 23, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Jim

    I don't see how allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines gives coverage to people who are currently uninsured an I don't really see why it will lower costs. All it will do is allow the lowest common denominator in coverage.

    Just look at the credit card business. They all moved to the states that had the weakest consumer protection laws after the supreme court changed the rules. This is an especially bad idea if we don't get rid of the anti-trust exemptions for insurance companies.

    I think this is just a red herring that conservatives are putting out there to say that they have a plan when they really don't.

    October 23, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Tony in Dallas

    Your selfish ideas are not welcome, cos it all amount to promoting the interest of the big Insurance company, and more so your idea has come too late, just bcos you want to be recorgnised for your "never going to be" dream in 2012. Any idea without the Public Option is not good for this great nation and is therefore not welcome.

    October 23, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Garland

    I will give Pawlenty credit for trying to come up with a different proposal, but we all are aware that the insurance industry is run by a bunch of crooks. My problem with this proposal is: Allowing people to purchase accross state lines will only give the whole insurance industry MORE power. The insurance companies that charge lower premiums will only align their prices with the one's that charge the highest prices. This just won't work! It's sad, but there's too much greed out there and the insurance industry is one of the worst. We've seen over and over. I'm still convinced that a public option is the only way to keep insurance companies under control.

    October 23, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. unshrub

    The only thing Pawlenty wants to promote is Pawlenty. He is under the illusion that everyone has the same opinion of him as he does of himself.

    October 23, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Wow, something being proposed that actually REDUCES the cost of health care. It must not have come out of either the Senate Finance Comittee, The House or from the administration.

    The liberals can say what they want about this, but it does cut the cost of health care, does not bankrupt the treasury and does increase competition in the health insurance industry. It does not have to be a 1,000 page bill...simple works too.

    October 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Tony

    Republican Pawlenty is dishing out more Republican propaganda.......as ususal. It's getting old.

    October 23, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Rob from MO

    As a physician, the proposal to allow insurance companies to sell plans across state lines is a terrible idea. First, there is little evidence that there are cheap plans out there that will attract a lot of people. But if there are, this would create an overhead nightmare for practicing physicians. Medical practices already have patient panels with 5 to 15 or more different insurance plans, each of which has its own rules and regulations and paper work. Physicians must hire a small army of clerical staff to handle all the work of billing, certifying, pre-approving, etc. If the Republican notion of allowing insurance plans to be available in all states actually works the way they want it to, it would have devastating unintended consequences for practices. Physicians would have to deal with many dozens of different plans, each with its own rules, etc. Instead of a small army of clerical staff, a large army would be needed, driving up administratice costs. Republicans should think before they make these ridiculous proposals. I know many otherwise conservative physicians who favor a single-payer system to simplify billing and reduce these absurd administratice costs.

    October 23, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Wow, a legitimate idea. As a Canadian I can say that the public option isn't nearly what it's being made out to be by Squawkbox Pelosi et el as in my experience, it's been a generally lackluster system with exceptionally long waiting times(looking at at 5 hours at the absolute least in the ER if you're not carted in on a stretcher) and generally poor service. I'm curious to know why this particular proposal hasn't been considered all along as it seems like the the quickest, most painless way to drastically drive down healthcare. Additonally what ever happened to the electronic migration preached in the democratic primaries that was suppose to save billions of dollars. The democratic leaderhip is a joke at best that panders to a "main street" populist whining that they know nothing about and unfortunately voters just seem to eat it up. I feel that between making insurance companies compete nationally and generating national electronic records the health system will both cut waste and lower premiums to make a very effective system.

    October 23, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Nick

    Wow, a legitimate idea. As a Canadian I can say that the public option isn't nearly what it's being made out to be by Squawkbox Pelosi et el as in my experience, it's been a generally lackluster system with exceptionally long waiting times(looking at at 5 hours at the absolute least in the ER if you're not carted in on a stretcher) and generally poor service. I'm curious to know why this particular proposal hasn't been considered all along as it seems like the the quickest, most painless way to drastically drive down healthcare. Additonally what ever happened to the electronic migration preached in the democratic primaries that was suppose to save billions of dollars. The democratic leaderhip is a joke at best that panders to a "main street" populist whining that they know nothing about and unfortunately voters just seem to eat it up. I feel that between making insurance companies compete nationally and generating national electronic records the health system will both cut waste and lower premiums to make a very effective system.

    October 23, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Josh in TN

    Screw Tim Pawlenty and the rest of the repukes.

    October 23, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Beverly in NC

    NO Republican is for any healthcare reform. None would even vote to get healthcare bills to discuss out of commitees – so that would have meant NO healthcare reform at all.
    Who are these Republicans? They are against healthcare reform that will save the lives of milliions of Americans, stop the abuses of the insurance industry through real competition for them, are against hate crime prevention, are against equal pay for women in the workplace, are against Medicare and want to eliminate it, are against covering prenatal care of pregnant women wiith insurance, are against covering medical treatment for women beaten up by domestic violence situations, are against any education funding for crumbling schools with teacher shortages and not enough books for the students, are against helping veterans returning from the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with healthcare for mental distress of war, for therapy for their maimed bodies, and with helping them with education funding, are against new energy technology and openly call for America to fail. Are they actual Americans? Are they even human beings? And they are still clueless why 83% of Americans disapprove of their behavior and "values".
    Pawlenty is just another Republican against healthcare. His ideas are old ones and have already been dismissed as unworkable. Just another example of no leadership, no solutions for anything, no willingness to help restore America – just obstruct and vote against EVERYTHING that will help the people who elected them. Time to remove these non-humans from office!

    October 23, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. We Won Get Over It

    Someone explain what difference is it to purchase health care across states lines. If memory serves correct Kaiser sells insurance in MOSTLY ALL STATES, same as BC/BS, United etc. so what would be the difference.

    But for one minute say Kentucky is cheaper than Alabama. Everybody rushes to Alabama...so if Alabama insures everybody aren't they going to raise their rates to be the same as Kentucky so they can take care of all the customers.

    Give me a break that is a stupid idea...but then our governor is one of the stupidest people I have ever know. How he got elected here in Minnesota I'll never know.

    October 23, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Donna

    If Plenty is what the GOP has to offer then Pres Obama will serving another term.

    October 23, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. They call me "tater salad"

    Give me a break CNN! Or better yet.........Grow a pair!

    October 23, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Ken from missouri

    That idea won't work unless they revoke the anti-trust laws that let insurance companies fix prices,share pricing info and raise premiums because if 10 insurance companies get in one state they will have the same prices and benefits.

    October 23, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Jacqui

    Tim Pawlenty did not run for Presidency last November. It is therefore disgusting to see him making good policies now. He should have done that during the Republican control of the government.

    I am appaled to see that he can't even wait until his chance in 2012.

    October 23, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. John A. Worth

    Tim who?

    October 23, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Pragmatic

    If one buys insurance across state lines, one avoids the state's right to "govern" insurance through its own state insurance agency, thereby turning this right over to federal laws and creating that most-feared government takeover of health care.

    Now health insurance companies would be able to flee to the states with the weakest regulations.

    You live in Jersey – buy your insurance in Montana: which state do you work with if you have a problem???

    October 23, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    Rob from MO October 23rd, 2009 3:56 pm ET

    As a physician, the proposal to allow insurance companies to sell plans across state lines is a terrible idea...
    ______________________________________________________
    As a physician, you must be pretty excited about the idea that the government is trying to borrow $900 billion to pay you to take care of anybody and everyone. I would support that too!

    Except I'm a working stiff and my taxes already make it difficult to run a business.

    October 23, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Maria - Proud Democrat

    Allowing Americans to buy Health Insurance across state lines IS THE BEST PLAN for Americans.

    We need real competition and letting us shop around for the best insurance company/plan around the nation is true choice.

    The Obama plan only gives us ONE more option......what a joke!

    October 23, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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