Former Senator continues to blast MN governor on health care

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portrait_dave2009.jpgIn his email newsletter, former US Senator David Durenberger, who represented Minnesota in the Senate as a Republican, again criticizes the health policy statements of current (but outgoing) Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a Republican.

Far more than just an internal Minnesota squabble, the issues and the personalities at play here have impact nationally. Excerpt of Durenberger’s newsletter:


Or so many people involved in health system and health policy change have long believed. As a member of the Senate, I was always told my Minnesota health reform ideas were great. For Minnesotans. But they wouldn’t translate nationally. Minnesota has been a national leader in expanding coverage to nearly all residents (although there has been a lot of slippage the 8 years of the Pawlenty administration). We are leaders in care quality and safety initiatives and applying health plan and delivery system cooperation to bending the cost curve. In employer involvement in fostering employee choice, health management, and care coordination systems. In leadership in dealing with mental and behavioral health and long-term care. And in dealing with reducing the consequences of poor health on medical costs.

Listening to our Governor Tim Pawlenty run for president against this kind of health system and policy is appalling. As he said Sunday on national cable TV: “I think Obamacare is one of the worst pieces of legislation passed in the modern history of the country….It is a top down, command and control, bureaucratically run entitlement program.” “I like people being in charge of their decisions.” This is outright bull. Unworthy of the governor of a state that has been working hard to create many of the care system and access innovations that the Accountable Care Act will help to fund with federal dollars as an example to the rest of the country. All on his watch. Much with prodding from the DFL legislature and from health provider groups in Minnesota who, by the way, endorsed “anyone but the Pawlenty heir” for governor last month.”

Addendum on Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. Central:

More on Pawlenty’s recent moves from Christopher Weaver of Kaiser Health News.

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