October 13th, 2009
03:36 PM ET
12 years ago

Pawlenty rolls out new health care proposals

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/07/art.pawlenty.1007.gi.jpg caption="Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is building up his national profile."](CNN) - As Democrats in Washington work to push health care reform through the Senate, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty rolled out a series of new health care initiatives on Tuesday that he plans to introduce during next year's legislative session.

The Republican, who is contemplating a White House bid in 2012, made clear that the proposals are intended to be a "market driven" contrast to President Obama's health care plan currently being debated in Washington. Along with the official policy rollout in St. Paul, Pawlenty also published an online column trashing the Democratic health care bill that ultimately emerged from the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday as "a tax and spending bill masquerading as a health reform bill."

His new three-pronged plan to reform the state-run health care system is anchored by a proposal to let Minnesotans purchase health insurance plans across state lines. If enacted, Minnesota would become the first state to allow residents to buy health care from out of state. That plan, he said, would foster more private sector competition to help reduce costs.

The second proposal would establish a "tiered provider system" for the state-run programs MinnesotaCare and Minnesota Advantage that would make consumers pay more for clinics that are more costly and less efficient. The third part of the plan would require adults making at least 133 percent of the federal poverty level pay for some of the health care expenses under MinnesotaCare.

Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. susan

    Yesterday I watched LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, I started to acknowledge that the REPUB had their plans too. But their plans were all killed by the DEM controolled Congress. Some of the points on the REPUB's HC Plan seemed to make sense to me though I am a long time DEM.

    I think it is time for the D and R to work together instead of pointing fingers at each other. It will do no good to the American people.

    The media should do their FAIR AND BALANCED COVERAGE ON THE ISSUE NOW.

    October 13, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Raise your hand if you're sick of the carefully practiced "speaking fist" these idiots use.

    October 13, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Joseph

    Mr. Pawlenty,

    You are late Mr. You miss your chances, you should have open up your mouth first and and let your GOPERS to support President healthcare reform. You are the next one to be Kicked out in the next election...............

    October 13, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    BCBS of VA and BCBS of GA or any BCBS product you can think of, the premiums may be lower from one state to the next, but they all still fall under BCBS/Wellpoint. Don't be fooled. I'm a healthcare professional and I can tell you from experience that purchasing insurance across state lines DEFINITELY will not lower rates. How do I know? Because if you called BCBS of VA and verified your medical benefits and then called BCBS of GA and do the same thing, you'll see that the benefits are pretty much the SAME and the out of pocket expenses are pretty much the SAME. In the example I just gave, even if you were allowed to purchase insurance across state lines, the money is still going to BCBS.

    October 13, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Laverne

    Pathetic, too late buddy this train is moving!

    October 13, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Arthur P. from Ca.

    Let's see, consumers can buy policies from across state lines... Last time I checked, most of the people with health insurance are getting it through their work and have limited options on which to buy. Adding more companies to the pool that can try to get my company to strip down the health care they offer is not going to improve my situation any.

    October 13, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. GOPer

    Now? Pawlenty waits until now(?) as the health bill passes the final committee in Congress. Way to delay, Tim.

    And while "third," Pawlenty's 133% so-called proposal would hypocritically seem his own version of tax and spending bill. Give me a break.

    October 13, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Danny E. Gonzalez

    that means he is raising taxes... wonder if their conservative supporters know what the Good Governor is up to?

    October 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Roz Jones

    Does anyone listen to Pawlenty?

    October 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Perusing-through


    Where were you Pawlenty during the previous 8-years when Republicans were in-charge? Why didn’t you propose health reform then? Pawlenty, your hypocrisy stinks and the GOP has no credibility on social issues like Veterans Administration Hospitals and Support, Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Support, and above all Health Coverage.

    October 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Barbara Independent in NY

    You could have done this at any time Tim. Why now? Oh, we get it, you want to run for President.

    October 13, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. What's is The Beef Republiklans?

    what does this guy know, seriously????????!

    October 13, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Joe, Georgia

    This proposal is a clear sign that Pawlenty and most Republicans don't understand how health care actually works. Buying insurance across state lines does nothing for the consumer unless the insurance carrier has established a network of providers who will accept the insurance plan. In that case, they would most likely be operating in that state already. Most doctors, hospitals and other providers are part of networks. You can get health care on an out of network basis, but it is substantially more expensive than in network care. Most of the major health care players, like Aetna, Wellpoint, Humana and United Health already operate in most states. To eliminate the state by state differences in policies, you need to eliminate state by state regulation of insurance carriers and go to a national regulatory model which I am sure Pawlenty and other Republicans would oppose.

    October 13, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Ray R

    Finally, someone who has been listening to the townhall meetings. Competition and the free market will fix the cost of healthcare if only people are allowed to buy coverage from any provider in the country. Removing the state-boundary limit will greatly improve competition. The only thing Pawlenty left out of his proposed plan is tort reform.
    'Let the loser pay' in malpractice suits would have an even greater impact on healthcare costs.

    October 13, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. Rachel stewart

    How is that going to help those of us with pre-existing conditions, Mr. Pawlenty?

    October 13, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Who is this guy kidding. This is another attempt by the GOP to sound like they care about the poor. Tim Pawlenty only cares about getting elected. America has to wake up and realize the GOP is the party of the rich and powerful. Taxes pay for everything in a democracy.

    October 13, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. JG

    little late? lol

    October 13, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Florida Joe

    Well if his HealthCare plan is as good as his maintenance plan for the bridges in his State it is a DISASTER.......

    October 13, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Anthony In Miami

    Are you serious! Now you want to actually do something for health care for your state. All this time and you just magically have come up with something for your state. So explain to me how you are going to deal with varying state laws that allows an insurance company to deny someone health care for reasons in one state versus others. Kind of like why the credit card companies for many years based themselves out of Delaware! Sound familiar. The states have a right to determine what is allowed and not allowed from state to state. But nobody is talking about that. I guess until someone is denied health care, you don't know.

    October 13, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Mai

    All of which will do no good at all if insurance companies are allowed to dump those who have paid into the system for years. Being allowed to buy insurance policies outside of state lines would give consumers more options, but I laugh at the thought that this by itself would make it more affordable. Am I to believe that I will now be offered a policy that I can afford at $400 or less a month? I am not counting on it. It is how providers are reimbursed that make the system inefficient. Specialists get paid better than primary doctors. Specialists are a bigger burden on the system because cost of care and procedures are more expensive than the primary doctors, who should be gatekeepers of the system. Medical students are avoiding primary care because there is no money in it. To make the system more efficient, the incentives should go to the providers who will be providing the care. I see little reform there.

    October 13, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. jean

    This man is a devil in a suit and tie. Does he really think that
    Americans are nieve enough to belive anything that comes out of his big mouth? Pawlenty, like other Republicans, needs to crawl under a rock

    October 13, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Do

    Another. GOP idiots

    October 13, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Jilli

    The problem with buying policies from across state lines is the lack of regulation. It's typically bad for the consumer, but a real winner for repubs (or so they think) – even with the financial disaster created in part by the lack of regulation – they still insist markets can regulate themselves. Too bad reality tells another story.

    October 13, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. JW

    I'm not that impressed by what I hear thus far, but would be interested to hear more about it. It's nice to that someone from the GOP can come with an idea beyond the good old tax cut. Maybe the GOP can add something besides negativity to health care policy yet.

    October 13, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Cathy in AZ

    Ask the good citizens of Minnesota(one of which I used to be) how they feel about the Gov. Most believe he has abandoned the state in order to begin his run for President. I would be curious to see how much money the health insurance lobby has contributed to his campaign both as govenor and potentially as a GOP presidental wannabe. Who makes the decision which clinic(s) are more costly and less efficient?

    October 13, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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