Pawlenty issues exec order blocking state requests for ObamaCare funds

posted at 8:27 pm on August 31, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

ObamaCare sometimes seems like Mark Twain’s comment about the weather, and how everyone complains but no one does anything about it.  Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty opened up a new front on opposition to the federal takeover of health care by issuing an executive order to block state requests for ObamaCare funds.  Calling the program “an explosion of federal spending” that does nothing to address the actual causes of rising costs in health care, Pawlenty drew a line in the sand between Minnesota and the White House:

Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty Tuesday ordered all state agencies to not to submit applications to any health care funding from the federal government related to the health care overhaul.

Any applications must be either required by law or approved by the governor’s office. …

“Obamacare is an intrusion by the federal government into personal health care matters and it’s an explosion of federal spending that does nothing to make health care more affordable,” Pawlenty said in a news release.

The Star-Tribune has the executive order in full at the link above.  Time’s Mark Halperin gives Pawlenty high marks for “clever 2012 positioning”:

Pawlenty’s move allows him to argue that he stood on the frontlines as an elected official and tried to thwart the law through aggressive means. And it allows him to stoke the contrast he and his strategists most want to make with Mitt Romney, whose support for a similar health care measure in Massachusetts continues to bedevil him with many Republicans.

Alternately or even simultaneously, it could be that Pawlenty just thinks ObamaCare is bad policy, and especially bad for the states.  After all, Democrats in Congress “balanced” ObamaCare mainly by pushing the uninsured into Medicaid, whose costs get borne mainly by the states.  It also tramples all over the efforts Minnesota has made in addressing health-care costs in the state by dumping a new load of federal mandates into the mix.

This could easily become an issue in the upcoming Minnesota gubernatorial election.  Remember, 54% of likely voters in Ramussen’s July poll favored repealing ObamaCare, while only 40% opposed such an idea.  I haven’t seen much since then on the question; the last Rasmussen poll didn’t ask the question, and neither the Strib nor MPR polls did, either.  Dayton would be certain to void Pawlenty’s executive order, but Emmer would probably keep it in place, arguing that it will allow Minnesota to keep from getting too deeply embedded in the system while challenges to its constitutionality and efforts by a new Congress to defund it proceed apace.

In any event, at least one politician decided to take some action rather than just talk about it.  When a Republican House replaces Nancy Pelosi as Speaker next year, we will almost certainly see more action.  In the meantime, it would be good to see more governors following Pawlenty’s lead, in those states where such moves are legal.

Update: Reason’s Peter Suderman has more:

Implementing a bill as unwieldy as the PPACA was bound to be a complex, frustrating process. But because the law relies heavily on state governments for implementation, and because, as we’ve already seen with the various suits challenging the law’s constitutionality, a number of those state governments are led by politicians who would like to see the law struck down, the implementation phase for this law is going to be especially messy.

Maybe they’ll have to “reeducate” some governors, too.


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Greeeeeaaaaattt!!!!!!!

MaiDee on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Wow!!! This is very encouraging.

mobydutch on August 31, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Bad Obama policy and good GOP politics. I hope to see other governors follow T-Paw’s lead.

Terrie on August 31, 2010 at 8:35 PM

BRAVO!!!!!

Cody1991 on August 31, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Second look at relocating to MN?

txag92 on August 31, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Great job, T-Paw.

I hope my future Governor, Bill Haslam, will do the same for Tennessee.

powerpro on August 31, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Second look at relocating to MN?
txag92 on August 31, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Are you insane? The libs here chose Mark Dayton, Mark “The terrorists are coming for me so I’m running home to hide under the bed” Dayton.

Stay away. Stay far far away.

Bishop on August 31, 2010 at 8:39 PM

So Pawlenty is going to ‘stand in the door’ of the emergency room, and Obama will have to send in the National Guard to get patients admitted for treatment.

This could be fun.

Skandia Recluse on August 31, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Oh this is going to make libs heads explode. They were pissed about the Sex Ed funding. This is 1000x better.

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:42 PM

This is a great start! Now let’s see which other states step up to the plate to protect their citizens.

Vote for your Governors and Attorney Generals very carefully in November!

wren on August 31, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Bishop on August 31, 2010 at 8:39 PM

I honestly think some people will vote for him in hopes he’ll bring back Daytons.

This is MN after all

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Good for you, whatshisname!

myrenovations on August 31, 2010 at 8:46 PM

In any event, at least one politician decided to take some action rather than just talk about it.

C’mon guys, gotta have more follow suit – Bring it on!!!!!!
Noticed in the rasmussen over the weekend the poll #’s supporting repeal of obamacare are actually going up from 54 recently to 58%!! Gota gtet this atrocity completely repealed!!!

huskerdiva on August 31, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Awesome T Paw not take that annoying popup off my hotair. Whoever wants to move to Minnysoota look again their brains are frost bitten up there. Frankin, A wrestler there nuts who think their oh so much more enlightened than us rubes

dhunter on August 31, 2010 at 8:48 PM

dhunter on August 31, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Last time I looked no one was forcing anybody to move here. Think of us what you like.

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Bishop on August 31, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Anyone seen FrankenTard lately?? They got the Great MN Get Together going on…(Great MN Human Ant Pile)…2 years ago he was wandering his sorry a$$ all over the place out there…Did he move back to New York??

BigWyo on August 31, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Good politics, but why won’t this issue end up similar to the stimulus fiasco Sanford etc. opposed ineffectively? Hopefully without any Appalachian Trail hikes strolls around the lakes?)

cs89 on August 31, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Crazy idea: Let’s start getting amendments passed to State constitutions prohibiting them from accepting federal money that has any restriction other than what that money can be used for. No matching funds, no requirement for an existing program, no legal penalties to force a state’s citizens to bend to federal will, etc. It would be fun watching Congress critters explain voting for programs from which their constituents are forbidden from gaining any benefit.

JSchuler on August 31, 2010 at 8:51 PM

You know who this helps?

Oh, wait….

RedRedRice on August 31, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Awesome T Paw not take that annoying popup off my hotair. Whoever wants to move to Minnysoota look again their brains are frost bitten up there. Frankin, A wrestler there nuts who think their oh so much more enlightened than us rubes

dhunter on August 31, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Wow…Bot?? Or am I missing something??

BigWyo on August 31, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Face it people, at the end of day the guy standing is going to be Pawlenty. He’s the only one without a fatal flaw.

That’s gonna perturb people who think he’s a RINO, but he’s the only guy with experience who wants the job, who has conservative creds, less than 3 wives, has a chance to win the primaries and the general, and who isn’t a Mormon.

Even if you don’t like him, take consolation in the fact that he isn’t a card-carrying commie, and he seems to like the country too.

notagool on August 31, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Must. stock. up. on. popcorn.

pambi on August 31, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Great news! Really hope Perry and others begin to do this as well.

Weight of Glory on August 31, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Good for you, whatshisname!

myrenovations on August 31, 2010 at 8:46 PM

HA! That’s good.

Weight of Glory on August 31, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Go, T-Paw!!! More govs need to follow his lead.

lizzie beth on August 31, 2010 at 9:02 PM

T-paw, in da house.

portlandon on August 31, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Expect a Federal suit poste haste.

Key West Reader on August 31, 2010 at 9:03 PM

All the other govs need to follow suit. Something about lead, follow, or get the hell outta the way. I suggest that they follow on this one.

milwife88 on August 31, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Last time I looked no one was forcing anybody to move here. Think of us what you like.

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:50 PM

OK I apologize and take that back! not all Minnesotans are nuts just my two sisters in Minneapolis and their like minded friends who gave us Franken and the wrestler dude.
Good move by T Paw but please take the mouse over thing off my hotair its annoying and does nothin to endear him

dhunter on August 31, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Will the Obama Justice Department (a phrase that makes me bang my head against the wall) be filing a lawsuit against the State of Minnesota?

Tommy_G on August 31, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Hey Romney, boom, taste that night stick!

bluemarlin on August 31, 2010 at 9:08 PM

By January this Administration may be suing every state in the country, over either immigration or ObamaCare. That’s a surefire recipe for reelection!

rockmom on August 31, 2010 at 9:10 PM

My new hero.

Amendment X on August 31, 2010 at 9:12 PM

By January this Administration may be suing every state in the country, over either immigration or ObamaCare. That’s a surefire recipe for reelection!

rockmom on August 31, 2010 at 9:10 PM

That would be quite some meltdown, let us hope they are really that dumb.

bluemarlin on August 31, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Tim Ballsplenty

SouthernGent on August 31, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Death by 1000 cuts to everyone of Imam Hussein’s Socialist policies.

Alden Pyle on August 31, 2010 at 9:25 PM

AWESOME!

Frankenberry’s head must be exploding!

KeepOhioRed on August 31, 2010 at 9:29 PM

By January the Obama “Justice” Department will be up to its knees in Congressional subpoenas for testimony in the greatest money laundering scheme ever….otherwise known as “The Stimulus” package.
Follow the money Boys & Girls…from the U.S. Treasury to GM to the UAW to the Democratic Party. Voila!
From Corporate shakedowns to settlement funds to ACORN. Voila!
And a dozen other rat lines all over this country, this administration and its “Justice” Department and a dozen other agencies have funnelled money thru all kinds of cutouts and intermediaries and into the coffers of every lefty organization they can find. They can’t print the stuff fast enough!
Watergate was a fender bender next to this train wreck!!!

Lew on August 31, 2010 at 9:30 PM

So when is the DOJ going to file suit against this???

BigWyo on August 31, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Quinny-kins has his head up Zero’s you-know-what and GOP candidate Bill Brady’s a squish.
I really hate being entrapped in the gulag living in Illinois.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 31, 2010 at 10:00 PM

beautiful!

The Notorious G.O.P on August 31, 2010 at 11:04 PM

Interesting summary Mr, Morrisey, except here Gov Pawlenty just got in the way of people getting their money from the Fed. Sure they might hate ObamaCare, but when it comes to getting a check for services, they are going to see it differently. So its a risky gambit to convince these folks that OC is bad, and we can’t take the Feds monies.

Which brings me to the other side of the coin, Minnesota should send the Feds taxes MINUS Minnesotas contributions to OC(medicare). THAT would ignite the powder keg of C1vilWar2.

orbitalair on August 31, 2010 at 11:08 PM

So how long until Obama sues?

petunia on September 1, 2010 at 12:49 AM

Face it people, at the end of day the guy standing is going to be Pawlenty. He’s the only one without a fatal flaw.

That’s gonna perturb people who think he’s a RINO, but he’s the only guy with experience who wants the job, who has conservative creds, less than 3 wives, has a chance to win the primaries and the general, and who isn’t a Mormon.

Even if you don’t like him, take consolation in the fact that he isn’t a card-carrying commie, and he seems to like the country too.

notagool on August 31, 2010 at 8:55 PM

That sounds an awful lot like “he’s electable”.

Which sounds perfectly reasonable until you remember it was the rallying cry for Bob Dole, John Kerry and John McCain.

Cylor on September 1, 2010 at 1:48 AM

Minnesota to be reported to the UN in 3-2-1…

Valiant on September 1, 2010 at 6:28 AM

I haven’t been a big fan of the ‘Paw, but have to give him very high marks for this move…so long as he sticks with it when the heat comes. Show a little of Jan Brewer’s backbone, and the ‘Paw scores with this one.

james23 on September 1, 2010 at 8:05 AM

I hope my future Governor, Bill Haslam, will do the same for Tennessee.

powerpro on August 31, 2010 at 8:39 PM

He’d better. Perhaps we should contact him with this as a campaign idea…

ladyingray on September 1, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Sorry folks. He’ll fold when the Holder DOJ starts to squeeze him. Pawlenty doesn’t have half the stones Governor Brewer of Arizona has.

kens on September 1, 2010 at 11:39 AM