As you probably know by now, House DFLers failed to override Gov. Pawlenty's veto of a bill that extends General Assistance Medical Care for another 16 months. Here's what can happen next:
1) House Democrats try again. Using a parliamentary maneuver, Democrats gave themselves one more opportunity to override Pawlenty's veto. House Republicans were pretty resolute in their stance to stand with Pawlenty on the veto override. Will it work if they try a second time?
2) They can continue to negotiate with Gov. Pawlenty. Pawlenty, who met privately this afternoon with House Republicans to thank them for sustaining his veto, said he's willing to work with Democrats on the issue. DFLers said they hit a wall during weekend negotiations and didn't feel as if Pawlenty's negotiators were willing to cut a deal.
3) A lawsuit could be filed. DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher said she expects a lawsuit to be filed with 24 hours. Galen Robinson, with Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance, said "It's premature for us to make a decision on this issue" regarding a GAMC lawsuit. He declined further comment. A lawsuit could stop autoenrollment from occurring but wouldn't that just end the program entirely leaving GAMC clients without an option?
4) GAMC ends on April first and folks are autoenrolled into MinnesotaCare. Democrats worry about this proposal for several reasons. They say GAMC patients (who are the poorest of the poor) can't afford the MinnesotaCare premiums. MinnesotaCare caps payments to hospitals at $10,000 which could present problems for hospitals that treat GAMC clients who need emergency room care.
Question of the Day: What option is best?
Update: Pawlenty invites DFL leaders to his office on Tuesday to discuss GAMC. Here's the release from his spokesman:
TO: Capitol Press Corps
FROM: Brian McClung
RE: Governor invites legislators to meet on GAMC - 10:30 a.m. Tuesday
This afternoon, following the DFL's failed attempt to override the Governor's veto , Governor Pawlenty invited key legislators to meet with him tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. in the Governor's Office to continue negotiations regarding General Assistance Medical Care.
The Governor extended the invitation to Senator Linda Berglin, Representative Erin Murphy, Representative Tom Huntley and Representative Matt Dean. Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman and the Governor's Legislative Affairs Director Chris DeLaForest would also participate in the meeting.
Governor Pawlenty also visited with members of the House Republican Caucus this afternoon to express his appreciation for their unity in upholding his veto and to express his interest in continuing to work with both parties on an affordable and appropriate compromise.
The governor wants to end GAMC, period. I don't see how negotiators can bridge the divide between trying to fix a program on the one hand, and trying to end it on the other.
Maybe it would help if Pawlenty would come out and said what he's looking for in order to cut a deal, short of ending the program entirely.
If Pawlenty is going to end it, then end it. What is this about? I thought he would stick to his guns and not get wishy-washy after he accomplished what he wanted in the first place. This behavior will not fly, if he wants to President of the US. We already have one of those now.