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Request to join compact denied (veto)

Published (5/25/2012)
By Sue Hegarty
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Republicans hoping to ask Congress for the authority to join a health care compact are denied by a gubernatorial veto.

“This bill would be a drastic departure from our current system of shared state and federal responsibility for delivering health care services,” Gov. Mark Dayton wrote in his veto letter.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt (R-St. Cloud) and Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) sponsor the bill, which may have resulted in Minnesota requesting that Congress return Medicaid contributions to be managed by the state, without federal oversight.

Opponents said the bill was propagated by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an association for conservative state lawmakers. Gottwalt said ALEC is not the reason he sponsors the bill and that Minnesota could receive $13.5 billion as a block grant to design its own health care system. Compact states would presumably then opt out of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“Far beyond any objection to the federal Affordable Care Act, this bill asserts the notion that the federal government has no authority for health policy whatsoever,” Dayton wrote. “Regrettably, this Legislature has almost completely ignored the very real opportunity to assert greater control over our health care system by establishing a state-level health insurance exchange.”

HF2339/ SF1933*/CH256

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